Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has both Oxbow and Will Take Charge on target for the May 4 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), sent his star pupils out to breeze at Oaklawn Park the morning of April 5.
Rebel Stakes (gr. II) winner Will Take Charge went a bullet five furlongs in 1:01 flat, best of 10 at the distance, while Rebel runner-up Oxbow worked six furlongs in 1:14 3/5 over the muddy track.
Lukas confirmed that Oxbow, a son of Awesome Again who currently has 36 points based on Churchill Downs' new criteria for making the Kentucky Derby field, will start in the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr.I). Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has been named to ride.
Lukas is still deciding whether to start Will Take Charge in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, also on April 13, or just train up to the Derby. The Unbridled's Song colt has 60 points and is safely among the 20-horse field.
"Textbook," Lukas said of the works. "I was really pleased, absolutely. The track was a little bit wet, but today was the day I wanted to do it, so we went ahead and did it. That's it for Oxbow. Depending on what we decide with (Will Take Charge), it will probably be it for him as well. Oxbow went six furlongs and I tell you what about him. He blows out every day. He puts so much into his mornings. We end up trying to slow him down."