03/06/2009 1:00AM

Silver City will return for Rebel run


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Silver City has been committed to the Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel at Oaklawn on March 14 after having also been under consideration for a start in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby the same day. Bret Calhoun, who trains Silver City, said the colt was to work at his Fair Grounds base next Saturday, then ship to Oaklawn on Tuesday.

"We know the horse runs well up there and decided to stay with that program," Calhoun said from Fair Grounds on Friday.

Silver City shipped in from Fair Grounds and won the $50,000 Dixieland in dazzling fashion at Oaklawn on Jan. 16. He returned a month later for the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest Stakes and set a strong pace in the one-mile race before finishing second to Kentucky Derby favorite Old Fashioned.

Old Fashioned is also being pointed for the Rebel. He is scheduled to work five furlongs at Oaklawn on Sunday, said his trainer, Larry Jones. Old Fashioned is undefeated and also won the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct last fall.

Others considered probable for the Rebel include Flat Out, Wise Kid, His Greatness, and Poltergeist, according to Oaklawn's stakes coordinator, Craig Lytel. Flat Out won the $50,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn on Jan. 19. Wise Kid, His Greatness, and Poltergeist are all allowance winners at Oaklawn.

Lytel said possibles for the race include Nowhere to Hide, who in his last start was fourth in the Grade 3 Risen Star at Fair Grounds.

Proud Spell works for Apple Blossom

Trainer Larry Jones plans to train champion Proud Spell up to the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom here April 4. The winner of last year's Kentucky Oaks, Proud Spell will be making her first start since September in the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom. Proud Spell had her first work over the Oaklawn surface on Thursday morning, and breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.

"Right now, it looks like we're just going to train right on up to the Apple Blossom," Jones said. "She worked well, came out of it really good, and I think she's doing well enough that she can take that as the first race of the year."

Proud Spell worked just after 7 a.m. on a 55-degree morning at Oaklawn. Heading into the drill she passed fellow Grade 1 winner Pure Clan, the third-place finisher from last year's Kentucky Oaks who was backtracking when the two crossed paths Thursday.

Proud Spell went into her move at the five-furlong pole, with jockey Terry Thompson guiding her through fractions of 23.20 for the opening quarter-mile, 36.20 for three furlongs and 47.60 for a half-mile. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.20.

"This was a good work," Jones said. "She handled it well, and galloped out well."

Shopping for a spot for Citizen

Trainer Bernie Flint said plans are to keep Citizen sprinting after the horse turned in a sharp, front-running effort from the rail to win the $50,000 Mountain Valley last weekend at Oaklawn. Citizen, who was part of a four-way pace war, came in from Fair Grounds for the race, which was run under a light snowfall. Citizen earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 85.

"He shipped up there the day before, going from where it was nice and warm to where it was freezing cold, and he did his thing," Flint said. "I was very, very impressed. He was on the fence, he had no other choice but to go, and he had to sprint three-quarters of a mile without a breather. That's pretty hard to do."

Flint said Citizen will be considered next for the $50,000 Hansel for 3-year-olds at six furlongs at Turfway Park on March 21.

Horsemen endorse mount-fee raise

The members of the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association who attended a general meeting Friday voted by a narrow margin to endorse a scale that would increase losing mount fees for riders at Oaklawn, according to the organization's president, Earl Bellamy.

The request was made by the Jockeys' Guild in what has been a national project for the organization. Bellamy said details should be forthcoming at the next Arkansas Racing Commission meeting March 14. The panel must approve any fee changes for Arkansas.

Rachel Alexandra to work Sunday

Rachel Alexandra will have her final work for the Grade 2, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Sunday at her Oaklawn base.

She is scheduled to breeze an easy half-mile under regular rider Calvin Borel, said her trainer, Hal Wiggins. Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to ship to Fair Grounds on Wednesday, with the race next Saturday.