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Mar 16, 2012

Secret Circle returns for Rebel Stakes


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Secret Circle, winner last time of a division of last month's Southwest Stakes, heads a field of 13 three-year-olds for Saturday's $500,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-mile race is the final local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby on Saturday, April 14.

Owned by Karl Watson, Paul Weitmann and Mike Pegram, Secret Circle turns out to be the only representative in the race from the barn of trainer Bob Baffert. Castaway, who won the other Southwest division, is being held out of the event.

Secret Circle will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano from post seven. The colt won last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint as the 2-5 favorite and has been favored in all five career starts. With four wins he has earnings of $518,990. His only defeat came in the Sham Stakes two months ago when he finished second as the 1-2 pick behind Out of Bounds.

Scatman, runner-up to Secret Circle last month, has drawn post two with jockey Luis Quinonez. The colt is trained by Michael Lauer for JEOG Racing.

"I was expecting him to run well in the Southwest," said Lauer. "Now, he has to go a sixteenth (of a mile) farther and I just don't know. I think he can. A lot will depend on what kind of pace we get in the Rebel."

Scatman has won two of five starts for $110,556 and the Rebel will be his third straight race at Oaklawn.

The top returning runner from the other Southwest division is second-place finisher Jake Mo. Trained by Allen Milligan, the colt will start from post five with Cliff Berry in the saddle.

Jake Mo, owned by Steven Brown, began the year with a fourth-place result at Oaklawn in the Smarty Jones Stakes. The colt has eight starts with two wins for $154,315.

Here is the complete field for the Rebel from the rail out: Unbridled's Note, Channing Hill; Scatman, Luis Quinonez; Cyber Secret, Robby Albarado; Optimizer, Jon Court; Jake Mo, Cliff Berry; Sabercat, Corey Nakatani; Secret Circle, Rafael Bejarano; Atigun, Terry Thompson; Reckless Jerry, Joe Rocco Jr.; Ring It Up, Lindey Wade; Pee H Dee, Israel Ocampo; Najjaar, Calvin Borel and Adirondack King, Stewart Elliott.

Ring It Up and Pee H Dee will race as an entry.

Smarty Jones in 2004, Lawyer Ron two years later and Curlin in 2007 all won the Rebel and Arkansas Derby.

Post-time for the Rebel is 6:50 p.m. (ET).

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