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Mar 14, 2008

Nine set to go in Rebel Stakes


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Trainers Nick Zito and Steve Asmussen will butt heads on Saturday in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. A total of nine Kentucky Derby hopefuls have been entered in the 1 1/16 mile race.

Zito will be shipping in Anak Nakal from Florida for the Rebel, which is a prep race for the April 12 Arkansas Derby. The colt is coming off a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Owned by Four Roses Thoroughbreds, Anak Nakal will start from post eight with Joe Bravo getting the mount. The three-year-old has won two of four career starts for $220,916.

Last year Anak Nakal won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and was second in the Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct.

Asmussen has entered highly-regarded Z Fortune for owner Zayat Stables. Z Fortune will break to the outside of Anak Nakal and will be ridden by champion jockey Garrett Gomez.

The colt was second in the Risen Star Stakes to Pyro at the Fair Grounds. At the same track he won the Lecomte Stakes for his only stakes victory. Z Fortune has earned $177,600 with three wins in four starts.

Asmussen will also have King's Silver Son in the field. The colt will start from post seven with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. This will be King's Silver Son's first start since breaking his maiden.

Coming out of Oaklawn's Southwest Stakes is second-place finisher Sierra Sunset. Southwest winner Denis of Cork is bypassing the Rebel with his next start in either the Wood Memorial or Illinois Derby.

Sierra Sunset has drawn post two for trainer Jeff Bonde and will have Chris Emigh in the saddle. The colt is the most experienced in the race with 10 career starts.

He began the year with a fourth-place finish in the San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita, the track where he won the California Cup Juvenile last November. Sierra Sunset has three wins and three seconds with earnings of $248,696.

Here is the complete field for the Rebel in post position order: Isabull, Tim Doocy; Sierra Sunset, Chris Emigh; Stone Bird, Joe Johnson; Sacred Journey, Calvin Borel; Golden Yank, Larry Sterling; He's Eze, Luis Quinonez; King's Silver Son, Shaun Bridgmohan; Anak Nakal, Joe Bravo and Z Fortune, Garrett Gomez.

Recent winners of the Rebel Stakes were 2004 Kentucky Derby champ Smarty Jones and last year's Horse of the Year Curlin.

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