03/15/2006 12:00AM

Well Said gets well-earned shot in Rebel

Email

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Well Said is an improving colt who will get his first significant class test Saturday when he makes his stakes debut in the Grade 3, $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He is expected to face a large field in the 1 1/16-mile race, including graded-stakes winners Lawyer Ron and Private Vow.

Well Said has won his maiden and an allowance in his last two starts. He drove to a 1 3/4-length win in the one-mile allowance on Feb. 16, and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 86.

"We decided that now's the time to try him and see how good he is," said Walter Bindner Jr., who trains Well Said for Hargus Sexton, the colt's owner and co-breeder. "He's improved a lot over the last couple of months."

Well Said stalked the pace in his allowance win, and ran the mile in 1:38.98.

"I know he beat a quality horse in Brilliant, and the way he did it, and to be able to beat him going a mile, really impressed me," said Bindner. "And the time, at that time, was also outstanding."

Well Said began his career with a second-place finish to Little Cliff in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Keeneland in October. He went on to win his maiden in his fifth start, at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs in January. Bindner outfitted Well Said with a shadow roll for the first time for that race, and the colt wore the equipment again in the allowance at Oaklawn.

"He had a tendency to run with his head up high," said Bindner. "By putting the shadow roll on, it has dropped his head down a little bit.

"He's a great horse to train. He has no bad habits," Bindner continued. "He has a good appetite, a good attitude, and he's a keeper. And you've got to love his pedigree, because that pedigree says he'll run all day, or as long as a horse will run, anyway."

Well Said, a tall horse at about 17 hands, is a long-striding son of Aptitude, the runner-up in the 2000 Kentucky Derby. His dam, Few Choice Words, produced the stakes winner Miss Jeanne Cat. Few Choice Words is a full sister to Nannerl, a Grade 2 winner of $499,210.

James Graham has the mount in the Rebel.

Private Vow, one of the top contenders for the Rebel, was flown in from Florida on Wednesday.

Other probables for the race are Steppenwolfer, Music School, Red Raymond, Nob Hill Deelite, Sharp Attack, Travelin Leroy, and Film Fortune. Among the possibles are Kip Deville and Sweetening.

Stakes in store for Charging Indian

Charging Indian remained undefeated after three career starts for Bindner and Sexton last week, when he won an optional claimer at Oaklawn in his first start since April 2005. He dueled on the lead and went on to win the six-furlong race by 1 1/4 lengths in a strong time of 1:10.36.

"I never dreamt those horses would go the first five-eighths in 57 [seconds], and when I saw it on the board, I thought somebody's going to come and beat both of those two horses," Bindner said. "But they just couldn't catch him. He is a fabulous horse."

Bindner said that Charging Indian, a son of Indian Charlie, will come under consideration for stakes in the coming months, among them the Grade 2, $200,000 Churchill Downs Handicap at seven furlongs on May 6.

* The Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders' and Horsemen's Association will hold its annual meeting and awards banquet at the Austin Hotel and Convention Center in Hot Springs on April 1.