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Baffert seeks third straight Rebel Stakes

Fri 16th, March 2012

Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will send out three-year-old colt Secret Circle on Saturday in an effort to capture his third consecutive Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Secret Circle, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, will take on 12 challengers in the 1 1/16-mile prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby on Saturday, April 14.

Baffert won last year's Rebel with The Factor after taking the 2010 edition with Lookin At Lucky, that year's champion three-year-old.

Secret Circle comes into the race off a win last month in a division of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn. Baffert also claimed the other division with Castaway who is set to start in next week's Sunland Derby in New Mexico.

Rafael Bejarano is again slated to ride the colt in the $500,000 stakes. The pair will break from post seven.

Owned by Karl Watson, Paul Weitmann and Mike Pegram, Secret Circle began the year with a second-place finish to Out of Bounds in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. He won last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint as the 2-5 favorite after winning his initial two starts. In five starts the colt has four wins and $518,990.

The 5-1 second pick is Sabercat, making his 2012 debut. The colt, trained by Steve Asmussen, will start from Secret Circle's immediate inside with Corey Nakatani in the saddle. Asmussen won the 2007 Rebel with Curlin.

Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Sabercat closed his two-year-old campaign with three straight wins, including the Garden State Stakes and $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. The colt has earnings of $681,420 with three wins in six starts.

Here is the complete field for the Rebel from the rail out: Unbridled's Note, Channing Hill, 20-1; Scatman, Luis Quinonez, 8-1; Cyber Secret, Robby Albarado, 15-1; Optimizer, Jon Court, 30-1; Jake Mo, Cliff Berry, 20-1; Sabercat, Corey Nakatani, 5-1; Secret Circle, Rafael Bejarano, 9-5; Atigun, Terry Thompson, 12-1; Reckless Jerry, Joe Rocco Jr., 12-1; Ring It Up, Lindey Wade, 20-1; Pee H Dee, Israel Ocampo, 20-1; Najjaar, Calvin Borel, 6-1 and Adirondack King, Stewart Elliott, 6-1

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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