Oaklawn Park

Tapiture Gets Back to Work at Oaklawn Park

Southwest Stakes winner on target for Rebel March 15, says trainer Steve Asmussen.

Southwest Stakes (gr. III) winner Tapiture  got back to serious work the morning of March 2 at Oaklawn Park as he prepares to make his next stop along the Triple Crown trail in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II).

Before the rains came Sunday, the Tapit  colt breezed five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 over a fast trackthe second fastest work of 48 at the distance. It was the first drill for the Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred since a 4 1/4-length triumph in the Feb. 17 Southwest in his 3-year-old debut.

Tapiture is scheduled to run in the Rebel March 15. It is the final local prep before the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 12.

"It was great, he's a very talented horse," trainer Steve Asmussen said of Tapiture's breeze. "I was glad to get it in before the weather hit. He's doing well and still on target for the Rebel."

Tapiture, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs to conclude his 2-year-old campaign, owns a 2-1-2 mark from five starts with earnings of $320,838.

Other potential Rebel starters also got works in Sunday morning before the bad weather hit. Rain and colder weather moved into Hot Springs just before training hours ended.

Trainer Brad Cox worked impressive allowance winner Sheltowee's Boy a half mile in :52 3/5.

"He worked really well," said Cox. "I was looking for something about :50 and he went a little slower, but he did it with good energy and galloped out well. He'll come back next week and work five furlongs."

Cox also worked graded stakes winner Dunkin Bend a half mile in :49 3/5, but said he is leaning more toward the $100,000 Gazebo Stakes March 22 than the Rebel. 

Trainer Randy Morse worked the eye-catching maiden winner Street Strategy six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 under regular rider Calvin Borel. Street Strategy finished second to the highly regarded Paganol Jan. 11 and then returned to win at second asking by 6 1/2 lengths Jan. 30.

"It was a good work, real good," said Morse. "He's a good horse."