It was a busy morning for 3-year-olds pointing towards the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 with top local prospects Petrov, Silver Dust and Uncontested all posting impressive works.
Co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs had been leaning toward the 1 1/16-mile Rebel for approximately a week and confirmed the decision Friday morning after Petrov, a gray son of Flatter, breezed a half-mile in :49 just after the track opened Friday morning under Greta Kuntzweiler.
Moquett, who co-owns the colt with Catherine Adams Hutt's Rialto Racing Stable, said he had been considering training up to the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G2) April 15, Oaklawn's fourth and final major prep for the Kentucky Derby. Petrov finished second in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 and $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20.
“The way I looked at is if this race had been a normal type of race, it would be a no-brainer,” Moquett said approximately an hour after Petrov's work over a fast track. “But, you really have to consider the amount of effort these horses are going to have to give. This is a real, real tough race.”
Moquett said New York-based Jose Ortiz will ride Petrov in the Rebel. Ortiz, a finalist for an Eclipse Award as the country's outstanding jockey in 2016, rode the colt in the Smarty Jones and Southwest.
Other locally based horses pointing for the Rebel include Lookin At Lee and Silver Dust, third and fourth, respectively, in the Southwest, Untrapped, a recent arrival for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, and Silver Bullion for D. Wayne Lukas.
Untrapped had been based this winter at Fair Grounds, where he ran second in the $200,000 LeComte Stakes (G3) Jan. 21 and $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) Feb. 25. Asmussen, a seven-time training champion at Oaklawn, also trains Lookin At Lee.
Following the renovation break Friday morning, Silver Dust breezed 6 furlongs in company in 1:14.60 for trainer Randy Morse.
“Doing good,” Morse said before the work.
Morse said Corey Lanerie would retain the mount on Silver Dust, who was making his stakes, two turn and 3-year-old debut in the Southwest.
Also working just after the track opened Friday morning was Smarty Jones winner Uncontested, who blazed 5 furlongs in :58.80, easily the fastest time of the day for the distance, under regular rider Channing Hill.
Clockers caught the speedy son of Tiz Wonderful galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:10.60 and 7 furlongs in 1:24.80.
“The time speaks for itself,” Hill said. “He went good.”
Co-owner Harry Rosenblum said following the work that Uncontested is “highly probable” for the Rebel “off of that breeze.”
“The way he came back, he wasn't winded at all,” Rosenblum said. “Channing said the way he came back to the barn is exactly the way he pulled up – not winded at all.”
Uncontested, after leading for much of the race, finished sixth as the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Southwest. Trained by Wayne Catalano, he was a record-setting 5 ¼-length winner of the Smarty Jones.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.