Lawyer Ron looks to run his winning streak to five as the likely choice in a 10-horse field for the Rebel Stakes (gr. III) Saturday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Private Vow, who won four of six races last year, makes his long-awaited 3-year-old debut. Lawyer Ron, a son of Langfuhr, has won all five of his starts on dirt by a combined 31 1/2 lengths after faring poorly on the turf. Trainer Bob Holthus, who won the Rebel last year with Greater Good, has been pleasantly surprised with his colt's recent success. "He raced well all summer (on the turf), but I guess he really came to himself the first time we ran him at the Fair Grounds at Louisiana Downs," Holthus said. He was referring to Lawyer Ron's 8 1/4 -length romp in the Risen Star (gr. III) in his 3-year-old debut. "It was a pretty solid field, and he just ran off and hid from them. Since then, he's been very eager to beat anybody he's running with." He has now logged five wins from 12 career starts with earnings of $440,008.The Rebel marks the return of the heralded Private Vow, making his first 2006 start for last year's leading American trainer, Steve Asmussen. Private Vow has been training in Florida.Winner of his last outing, the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs, the talented son of Broken Vow has won $382,508 coming into Saturday's Rebel.A number of other eager aspirants - including the late-running Steppenwolfer, Red Raymond, and Well Said - will also attempt to take the next step to the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II), which will be run at Oaklawn April 15.The quickly developing Steppenwolfer, who starts on the outside, was closing on Lawyer Ron in their last start at Oaklawn Feb. 25, the one-mile Southwestern, before losing by three-quarters of a length. It was Steppenwolfer's stakes debut for trainer Daniel Peitz.
$300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III, Race 10, 5:40 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey 1. Lawyer Ron (KY), 122, John McKee 2. Travelin Leroy (MD), 115, Carlos Marquez, Jr. 3. Kip Deville (OK), 117, M. Clifton Berry 4. Nob Hill Deelite (LA), 122, Corey Lanerie 5. Private Vow (KY), 119, Shaun Bridgmohan 6. Well Said (KY), 117, James Graham 7. Film Fortune (KY), 115, Stewart Elliott 8. Music School (KY), 117, Calvin Borel 9. Red Raymond (KY), 117, Luis Quinonez 10. Steppenwolfer (KY), 117, Robby Albarado