Saturday, March 11, 2017
Untrapped Completes Rebel Stakes Work
Untrapped completed major preparations for the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 with a 5-furlong work on a cloudy, chilly Saturday morning at Oaklawn. Breezing over a fast surface about 40 minutes after the track opened for training, Untrapped went in 1:01 for the1 1/16-mile race, the final major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15.
The son of Trappe Shot covered his final quarter-mile in :22.80 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:14, according to clockers. It was the first time he has worked over Oaklawn’s surface. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Untrapped made his first two starts this year at Fair Grounds, finishing second in the $200,000 LeComte Stakes (G3) Jan. 21 and $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) Feb. 25.
Owner Mike Langford said New York-based Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Untrapped for the first time in the Rebel. Langford purchased the colt for $125,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co’s April sale of 2-year-olds in training.
“He’s absolutely the most talented horse I’ve ever had,” said Langford, a commercial real estate developer from Jonesboro, Ark. “He just stays.”
Langford also campaigned multiple graded stakes winner Jonesboro ($1,550,685 in career earnings) and the owner’s Carve bumped his career earnings to $1,022,940 following a third-place finish in Friday’s seventh race, an allowance/optional claimer. Carve ran third in the 2013 Arkansas Derby.
Untrapped, who has 1-3-0 record and earnings of $166,800 from four starts, finished second in his Oct. 19 career debut at Keeneland, beaten six lengths by Uncontested, the record-setting 5 ¼-length winner of the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16, Oaklawn’s first of four major Kentucky Derby preps.
Other locally based horses pointing for the Rebel include Petrov, Lookin At Lee, Silver Dust and Uncontested, second, third, fourth and sixth, respectively, in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20 and Silver Bullion, who broke his maiden Feb. 9 for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Also expected for the Rebel are Royal Mo and American Anthem from Southern California and unbeaten Malagacy from south Florida.
Royal Mo, who is trained by John Shirreffs, won the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) Feb. 4 at Santa Anita in his last start.
American Anthem, in his stakes debut, ran second in the $100,000 Sham Jan. 7 at Santa Anita in his last start for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the Rebel three consecutive times and a record six times overall – all since 2010. American Anthem is a son of the Baffert-trained Bodemeister, runaway winner of the 2012 Arkansas Derby, and owned by WinStar Farm LLC, S F Bloodstock LLC and China Horse Club.
WinStar, S F Bloodstock and China Horse Club won the Southwest with unbeaten One Liner (3 for 3), who was making his stakes debut for Todd Pletcher. Pletcher returns with Malagacy (2 for 2), who, like One Liner, exits a first-level allowance/optional claimer at Gulfstream Park and never raced around two turns. The son of 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford has won his two starts by a combined 22 lengths.
Ron Moquett, who co-owns and trains Smarty Jones and Southwest runner-up Petrov, said the Rebel will be a “real, real tough race.” He had considered skipping the Rebel and bringing Petrov up to the Arkansas Derby off works.
“I think we’re one of the reasons it’s tough,” Moquett said. “But you have Mr. Baffert, Mr. Shirreffs, Pletcher all coming in, so you’ve got to take extra time to make sure you’re making the right decision.”
The Rebel will offer 85 points (50-20-10-5) to the top four finishers toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Derby. Post positions will be drawn Wednesday.
The Rebel will anchor a card that includes the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares and the $250,000 Essex Handicap for older horses. All three races are 1 1/16 miles.
Multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome returned to the work tab following the renovation break Saturday morning, breezing an easy half-mile in :51 under four-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. Unraced since the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 4 at Santa Anita, Texas Chrome is targeting the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 for his 4-year-old debut, trainer J.R. Caldwell said. Texas Chrome finished third in his 3-year-old debut last April at Oaklawn, the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes. … Santana finished second aboard Swing and Sway in Friday’s eighth race, the jockey’s first mount since suffering a shoulder separation in a March 2 spill. … Agent Joe Santos said he will begin representing Carlos Marquez Jr. March 18. Santos also represents Didiel Osorio, who may not be cleared to resume riding until late April after suffering two hairline fractures in his back (T5, T7 vertebrae) in the March 2 spill involving Santana. … Her Love for Pappy, scratched from last Saturday’s $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes for older female sprinters, represented the sixth career winner for trainer John Ortiz in Friday’s eighth race. Ortiz, who went out on his own last year after previously assisting Kellyn Gorder, has four victories at the meeting. … Feb. 20 maiden special weights graduate Blueridge Traveler worked a half-mile in :50.40 just after the track opened Saturday morning for trainer Kenny McPeek, who said he is pointing the 3-year-old colt for the $500,000 Spiral Stakes (G3) March 25 at Turfway Park. … Dazzling Gem, fourth in last year’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), remains “possible” for the $250,000 Essex Handicap for older horses March 18, trainer Brad Cox said Saturday morning. Dazzling Gem, who is owned by Steve Landers, a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission, worked a half-mile in :49.20 Saturday morning at Fair Grounds. … Also working just after the track opened Saturday morning for Cox was Grade 1-placed sprinter Jazzy Times, who went a half-mile in :48.40. Cox said he would like to find a third-level allowance race for Jazzy Times, a Feb. 23 allowance/optional claiming winner.