Last updated: 3/13/13 8:07 PM
|Super Ninety Nine will attempt to duplicate his Southwest effort in the Rebel
(Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography)
Hall of Fame trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas will each saddle a pair
of runners in Saturday’s Grade 2, $600,000
at Oaklawn Park, and one of those four is the likely favorite for the 1
Super Ninety Nine, one of Baffert’s entrants, appears the one to beat off an
11 1/4-length romp on February 18 in the local prep, the Grade 3 Southwest over
a sloppy, sealed track.
The chestnut son of Pulpit returned in that spot off an 18-day break
following a 3 1/4-length score at Santa Anita in his sophomore debut. He earned
a 103 BRIS Speed rating for that Santa Anita optional claimer, and continued in
the same fashion with a 101 Speed figure for the Southwest. Jockey Rafael
Bejarano was aboard for both starts and retains the mount on Saturday.
Super Ninety Nine’s main threat could come from Lukas’ Oxbow. That Awesome
Again three-year-old broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last November, shipped
to California to be fourth in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on December 15, then
returned a month later to dominate the Grade 3 LeComte by 11 1/2 lengths at Fair
|Oxbow could rain on Super Ninety Nine’s Rebel parade
(Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography)
Oxbow stuck around the New Orleans venue to try the Grade 2 Risen Star last
out, and had the lead in the stretch before being passed late in the lane. He
wound up only a half-length behind the winner in fourth, and will get a jockey
switch to Mike Smith for his Oaklawn debut.
Baffert’s other Rebel runner, Den’s Legacy, boasts just two career victories.
One of those came on the synthetic Polytrack at Del Mar and the other when
taking the Grade 3 Generous over Hollywood Park’s turf. The Medaglia d’Oro colt
finished second in his past two on conventional dirt tracks, the Grade 3 Sham
and Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis, and will get a rider change to Robby Albarado while
competing outside of California for the first time.
Also shipping for the first time are the Todd Pletcher-trained Delhomme and
Ron Ellis-conditioned Treasury Bill.
The former, a bay son of Dixie Union, owns just three career starts, breaking
his maiden at Belmont Park in October prior to closing out his juvenile season
with a close third after leading throughout in the Grade 2 Remsen. Garrett
Gomez, who’s been aboard Den’s Legacy for his past six races, will be in
Delhomme’s saddle Saturday.
|Treasury Bill (left) came with a furious rally from well-back to just miss in the San Vicente
Treasury Bill is also lightly raced with three starts, taking his maiden at
Santa Anita in his sophomore bow prior to a rallying second in the Grade 2 San
Vicente. The Lemon Drop Kid chestnut will be stretching out past seven furlongs
for the first time in the Rebel and brings jockey Joseph Talamo in from
California for the ride.
Title Contender will be looking to turn the tables on Carve in the Rebel
after being caught by that one in an optional claimer last month. The win gave
Carve a perfect two-for-two mark for trainer Steve Asmussen, who’s tabbed Corey
Nakatani to pilot the First Samurai gelding. Title Contender, on the other hand,
has yet to score since breaking his maiden in September. He followed up with an
eighth-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and an 11th in the CashCall
Futurity for Baffert, but has since been switched to the shedrow of Wayne
Catalano. The dark bay son of Pulpit will have Luis Quinonez in the irons for
the first time Saturday.
Will Take Charge is Lukas’ other Rebel hopeful, but was a well-beaten sixth
in the Southwest after eking out a neck decision in the Smarty Jones. Behind him
on both occasions is the re-opposing Texas Bling, who was next to last in the
10-horse Southwest and second in the Smarty Jones.
|My Miss Aurelia will try to return to the winner’s circle in the Azeri
Hardrock Eleven, runner-up in a Sam Houston stakes in late January, and
Stormy Holiday, fourth in a trio of black-type contests in his past three, round
out the Rebel field.
One race prior to the Rebel, My Miss Aurelia heads a field of seven fillies
and mares in the Grade 3, $150,000
going 1 1/16 miles. The champion filly suffered her first loss when second in
the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and followed that up with a half-length third
in the Grade 1 La Brea to close out her three-year-old campaign last out.
The Smart Strike filly will try to get back to her winnings ways in the Azeri
in advance of a possible run in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 12,
but first will have to withstand the likes of Azeri defending champion Tiz Miz
Sue, Grade 3 winner and last year’s Azeri runner-up She’s All In, and Don’t Tell
Sophia, who romped by 7 1/4 lengths in the Pippin prior to a 6 1/2-length win in
the Bayakoa over the local track.
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