By Dick Downey
Super Ninety Nine, winner of the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, will take on several interesting new contenders in the Grade II Rebel Sakes.
With the second, third, fourth and fifth finishers in the Southwest absent from the 1 1/16-mile Rebel entry list, shippers and relative unknowns will try their hands in the $600,000 race worth 85 Kentucky Derby points. Among them will be West Coast-based Treasury Bill and Delhomme, who ships in from South Florida.
Bob Baffert returns Super Ninety Nine to the scene of his front running Southwest win. It was a dominant, 11 1/4-length victory on a sloppy track. Rafael Bejarano returns for the ride from the outside post 11.
Treasury Bill will make his two-turn debut for trainer Ron Ellis. Most recently, he finished a late-running second to Shakin It Up in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. A son of Lemon Drop Kid out of a Menifee mare, Treasury Bill should like the additional ground.
Entered with Treasury Bill by owners Gary and Mary West is a surprise package in the form of Title Contender -- formerly from the Baffert barn -- but who's now trained by Wayne Catalano. Title Contender was most recently raced by Baffert on the Southwest Stakes undercard. From there, he was transferred to Catalano and recently put in a couple of sharp workouts at Fair Grounds. Title Contender could part of the pace with his former stable mate, Super Ninety Nine.
Todd Pletcher ships in Delhomme from South Florida for his 2013 debut. Garrett Gomez will have the mount on Delhomme, who most recently finished finished third in the Grade II Remsen Stakes after setting the pace.Since Jan. 20, Delhomme has breezed eight times at Palm Meadows.
Wayne Lukas, as expected, entered both Oxbow and Will Take Charge. Will Take Charge took the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn before finishing sixth, beaten 18 lengths, in the rainy Southwest. As of this post, the likelihood of a fast track on Saturday is high. Oxbow comes in from two starts at Fair Grounds. He was the runaway winner of the Grade III Lecomte Stakes and followed that up with a very close fourth-place finish in the Grade II Risen Star.
Mike Smith has been named to ride Oxbow, while John Court will handle the reins on Will Take Charge.
“They’re excellent and all good to go this morning,” said Lukas of his colts. “They came out of their works in good order. I spoke to Mike briefly last week. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a lot of conversation with a rider like him. I’m just going to put him on the horse and send him out there.”
Meanwhile, Robby Albarado has gained the mount on Baffert's Den's Legacy. The son of Medaglia d'Oro was second in the Grade III Sham in early January and again was runner-up in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 2.
Texas Bling will get another chance after running next-to-last in the Southwest, when trainer Danelle Durham said he didn't like the sloppy going. Cliff Berry returns in the saddle.
Carve, perhaps one of the cleverest claims of the year, comes into the race for Steve Asmussen after winning a Feb. 17 allowance at Oaklawn – in which Title Contender was second. Asmussen claimed Carve for $30,000 from Clairborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider out of his Jan. 25 debut at the track, which he also won.
Hard Rock Eleven and Stormy Holiday round out the Rebel field.
The Rebel is race 10 on Oaklawn's Saturday card.
Grade II Rebel Stakes
1 1/16 Mile
Post Time: 6:48 ET
|1||Carve (KY)||C. Nakatani||117||S. Asmussen|
|2||Treasury Bill (KY)||J. Talamo||115||R. Ellis|
|3||Texas Bling (TX)||C. Berry||119||D. Durham|
|4||Delhomme (PA)||G. Gomez||115||T. Pletcher|
|5||Hardrock Eleven (FL)||T. Thompson||115||D. Banks|
|6||Den's Legacy (FL)||R. Albarado||119||B. Baffert|
|7||Will Take Charge (KY)||J. Court||122||W. Lukas|
|8||Stormy Holiday (KY)||D. Bell||115||M. Robertson|
|9||Title Contender (KY)||L. Quinonez||115||W. Catalano|
|10||Oxbow (KY)||M. Smith||122||W. Lukas|
|11||Super Ninety Nine (KY)||R. Bejarano||122||B. Baffert|
All will run with Lasix.
A - Coupled Entries - Treasury Bill, Title Contender
Owners: 1 - Michael Langford ; 2 - Gary & Mary West ; 3 - Hall's Family Trust (Lewis A. Hall) ; 4 - WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC ; 5 - Lazenby, Virginia B. and Farm D'Allie Racing Stables ; 6 - Westrock Stables LLC (Scott T. & Joe T. Ford) ; 7 - Willis D. Horton ; 8 - Jer-Mar Stables LLC (Jerome & Martha Myers) ; 9 - Gary & Mary West ; 10 - Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) ; 11 - Tanma Corporation (Susan Chu)
Breeders: 1 - Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider; 2 - Edward A. Seltzer & Beverly Anderson; 3 - Hall's Family Trust; 4 - William M. Backer; 5 - Farm III Enterprises & Off The HookPartners LLC; 6 - Gaye Swartz; 7 - Eaton; 8 - G. Watts Humphrey Jr.; 9 - Town & Country Farm, Corp; 10 - Colts Neck Stables LLC; 11 - Northwest Farms LLC