Horse Racing News
Teuflesberg and Officer Rocket back for Rebel Stakes
Mar 14, 2007, 20:50 GMT
Hot Springs, AR - Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg heads a field of nine for Saturday's $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16 mile event is the final local prep race for the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 14.
The Oaklawn stakes for three-year-olds have become important preps leading to the Kentucky Derby. In 1998 Victory Gallop won the Arkansas Derby before finishing second in the Run for the Roses. Smarty Jones turned the Rebel Stakes-Arkansas Derby-Kentucky Derby triple and two years ago Afleet Alex won the Arkansas Derby on his way to wins in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes after a third in Louisville.
Teuflesberg is trained by co-owner Jamie Sanders, and has won five of 14 career starts for more than $467,000. His first win of the year came in the Southwest Stakes after a third place finish in the Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds.
Stewart Elliott will once again be aboard Teuflesberg as Elliott tries to duplicate his winning ride on Smarty Jones in 2004.
'The Triple Crown run on Smarty Jones was tremendous,' said Elliott. 'Even today, people come up to me and ask about the colt and the events. We relive the moment.'
Elliott and his mount will start from post 4.
Officer Rocket, second in the Southwest Stakes, gives trainer Bob Holthus a chance to record his third straight win in the Rebel Stakes. Holthus sent out Lawyer Ron and Greater Good to win the race. The trainer has a total of five Rebel Stakes victories, dating back to Spike Nail in 1964.
Owned by Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Officer Rocket will break from post 6. His regular jockey, Calvin Borel, will be at Tampa Bay Downs allowing Luis Quinonez the opportunity to ride the three-year-old.
'Sure, I wish Calvin had been able to stay on Officer Rocket,' Holthus said, 'but considering the circumstances, he had no choice, especially knowing that he would be facing a similar conflict on April 14.'
Last year Officer Rocket claimed two stakes at Arlington Park, the Arlington- Washington Futurity and the Spectacular Bid, but is still seeking his first win as a three-year-old.
A pair of colts coming off their maiden wins are expected to get considerable attention. Curlin won his debut by more 12 lengths at Gulfstream Park early last month. Flying First Class broke his maiden at Oaklawn by eight lengths.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Curlin will be ridden by Robby Albarado on Saturday from post 8. Following the win majority interest in the colt was sold to a partnership of Padua Stables and Stonestreet Stable.
Flying First Class will start from post 2 with Eclipse Award winner Edgar Prado in the saddle. The three-year-old is trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas for Ellwood Johnston.
Completing the field for the Rebel in post position order are Wannabeinclued, Sumac, U D Ghetto, Xchanger and Going Ballistic.
The Rebel Stakes is carded as race 10 on Saturday and will be televised by ESPN with a scheduled post-time of 7:04 p.m. (et).
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