‘Gutsy’ Risen Star Runner-Up Untrapped Points To Rebel Stakes At Oaklawn

New York-based Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Untrapped in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds March 18 at Oaklawn, owner Mike Langford said Saturday afternoon. Langford said Untrapped is in Hot Springs after previously being based this winter at Fair Grounds, where he finished second in the $200,000 LeComte Stakes (G3) Jan. 21 and $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) Feb. 25.

Walking off the track following the Risen Star, Asmussen, who trains Untrapped, said he “would like to bring” the colt to Oaklawn for the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, according to Langford.

“The rubber's going to hit the road in the Rebel,” said Langford, a commercial real estate developer in Jonesboro, Ark. “What we like about him, he stays. He's a gutsy horse. Got a big heart and, man, he's class.”

A $125,000 2-year-old purchase, Untrapped has 1-3-0 record and earnings of $166,800. The son of Trappe Shot 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.

The Rebel is the final major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15.

Ortiz, who was ranked second in the country in purse earnings last year ($23,456,396), according to Equibase, racing's official data gathering organization, rode Whitmore to a runner-up finish in the 2016 Rebel and to a third-place finish in that year's Arkansas Derby.

Other locally based horses pointing for the Rebel include the Asmussen-trained Lookin At Lee and Silver Dust, third and fourth, respectively, in the Southwest. Silver Dust worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 Saturday morning for trainer Randy Morse.

Co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Sunday that morning he's still leaning toward the Rebel for Smarty Jones and Southwest runner-up Petrov. Petrov worked 5 furlongs in :59.60 Saturday morning.

Following a sixth-place finish in the Southwest, co-owner Harry Rosenblum said Uncontested would “likely” make his next start in the Arkansas Derby. But the colt's trainer, Wayne Catalano, said Sunday morning that the “door is being left open” for a possible appearance in the Rebel.

Catalano said Uncontested has returned to the track following his 5-furlong bullet workout Thursday morning (1:00) under regular rider Channing Hill, the trainer's son-in-law.

The time equaled the fastest of 32 works recorded at the distance. Clockers caught Uncontested's final quarter-mile in :22.60 and galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:13. He was breezing for the first time since he was beaten 12 ¾ lengths in the Southwest, when he faded after holding a clear lead on the second turn.

“This is a good horse,” Catalano said. “We've got a couple of little excuses, and we got them corrected.”

Catalano said he will probably work Uncontested again “five or six days” before the Rebel.

“We're thinking about it,” Catalano said of the Rebel.

Silver Bullion, a Feb. 9 maiden winner, is under consideration for the Rebel, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Sunday morning.

Lukas said Southwest fifth Dilettante is pointing for the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) March 26 at Sunland Park.

The post ‘Gutsy’ Risen Star Runner-Up Untrapped Points To Rebel Stakes At Oaklawn appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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