03/12/2007 12:00AM

Sanders expects Teuflesberg to stalk leaders in Rebel

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Teuflesberg wired the field in the $250,000 Southwest last month at Oaklawn, but his trainer, Jamie Sanders, looks for him to face a different pace scenario on Saturday when he takes on new rivals Flying First Class and Curlin in the Grade 3, $300,000 Rebel. She also looks for him to adapt well after a key work here Sunday.

"I would think that he'll probably be sitting third," Sanders said. "He'll be close, but he won't be on it. He'll rate off a horse.

"In the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds, he settled right off those horses, and he had blinkers on then," Sanders said. "Without the blinkers, I think he's going to be more settled."

Teuflesberg, who won the Sugar Bowl in blinkers in December and the Southwest without them, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.73 here Sunday. Sanders was aboard for the work, as Teuflesberg traveled through an opening quarter in 25.31 seconds and the half-mile in 49.70.

"What I was trying to do was just let him go off easy and nice and relaxed, and pick it up each eighth," said Sanders. "And then whenever I came out of the turn I just set him up into the bridle and smooched to him, and he just exploded. That's what I really wanted.

"He's starting to mature, it seems, because there have been times, like right before the Breeders' Cup, he was rank going to the pole breezing. But now, he's maturing mentally and he's realizing that he can reserve his energy, and when he's asked to go, he's really starting to put it together."

Teuflesberg, a troubled 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 100 for the Southwest, his first two-turn win.

Sanders, who co-owns Teuflesberg with Gary Logsdon and Donnie Kelly, loves how he's coming into the Rebel.

"He's as good or better, but he's more confident coming into this one," Sanders said. "He was confident going into the other one, but he's even more confident now. I can tell. He's anxious to go to the track. He marches up to the racetrack. He likes to look and check it all out, and he's settled."

The Southwest will be the 14th start for Teuflesberg, a busy schedule by some standards, but one that suits him, said Sanders.

"He's one of these horses that thrives on racing and training," she said. "Donnie and I, we've wanted to back off of him, but he does it so easily and he's just not happy if he doesn't get to go to the racetrack. If we give him more than three days off after a race, he's antsy.

"There's not many horses that I've seen like him. There are horses that thrive on it, and he's one of them. . . . There are those kind of horses. It's just not very often that you see them nowadays. I think that's how he is."

Teuflesberg is a big horse, standing 16-2 hands and weighing about 1,150 pounds, said Kelly. He has looked grand since his arrival here late last week, and with a record of 4 wins from 13 starts, he will be both the winningest and most experienced horse in the Rebel.

"I just think it's an advantage as far as seasoning," said Sanders. "He's had a lot of horses around him. He's been in. He's been out. He's come from behind. He's been in front. I think he's about ready for any kind of race setup."

Teuflesberg, to be ridden by Stewart Elliott, had seven rivals as of Monday. Entries for the Rebel will be drawn Wednesday.

U D Ghetto, who won the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile, will start, trainer Tony Reinstedler said Monday. He will be ridden by Terry Thompson. The other probables are Curlin, Flying First Class, Going Ballistic, Officer Rocket, Wannabeinclued, and Xchanger.

Curlin breezes at Oaklawn

Curlin breezed a half-mile in 49.60 seconds here Monday and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.60, according to clockers. Luis Quinonez was aboard, while Robby Albarado has the mount in the Rebel. Steve Asmussen, who trains Curlin, said he liked how the horse handled the track in his first work at Oaklawn.

"It was definitely what we were looking for," Asmussen said. "Mainly, I wasn't looking for any obstacles. He went over the ground beautifully. He was very smooth, very comfortable."

Curlin won his debut by 12 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream while trained by Helen Pitts. After that race a majority interest in Curlin was sold. He makes his first start for Asmussen in the Rebel.

Devil House, High Heels in Honeybee

The field for the $100,000 Honeybee for

3-year-old fillies here Friday was drawn Monday. The field of nine from the rail with riders is: Time's Mistress, John Jacinto; Stella's New Groove, Eddie Razo Jr.; Stage Stop, Tony McNeil; Light Lace, Luis Quinonez; Devil House, Thompson; High Heels, Joe Johnson; Miss Goodnight, Elliott; Grace Happens, Willie Martinez; Cat on a Cloud, Eddie Castro.