05/07/2007 12:00AM

Rebel Yeller takes to turf


Rebel Yeller ($17.60), a sprinter stretching out to a mile and trying turf for the first time, nailed 6-5 favorite Encaustic by a nose in the $80,000 Woodlawn Stakes for 3-year-olds at Pimlico.

Ridden by Erick Rodriguez for trainer Rodney Jenkins, Rebel Yeller was expected to go to the lead in a six-horse field left without much speed following the scratches of Longlegged Beastie and Starvinsky. Instead, Rodriguez was content to sit second with Rebel Yeller behind a modest pace set by Encaustic.

Rebel Yeller, coming off a win over maidens going seven furlongs on the main track, got within a head of the leader after six furlongs in 1:13.71, but Encaustic regained a one-length advantage with a furlong remaining. Rebel Yeller made a second bid and just got up at the wire, covering the distance in 1:37.56.

"Erick and I talked about it in the paddock and I told him to let the horse get his feet under him," Jenkins said. "Being by Dixie Union, I thought he would like grass. Most of them do."