Rebel in Sights of Petrov, Lookin at Lee
Trainer Ron Moquett said Thursday he’s leaning toward running Petrov in the Rebel Stakes on March 18, and Steve Asmussen said Lookin at Lee is definite.
Petrov finished second in the Smarty Jones and then the Southwest Stakes this year. Beaten by Uncontested the first time, Petrov ran that one down in the Southwest but was overtaken by One Liner, who isn't expected back from Florida for the Rebel. Uncontested, who finished sixth in the Southwest, won't be in the Rebel either.
Moquett said Petrov came out of the race fine physically.
“He’s in charge of him,” Moquett said. “If he keeps squealing whenever I do my jogging on him, then he tells me he needs more, we’ll go from there. Basically, I just came out of that race hoping that he was happy and healthy and ready to move forward and let him tell me at what level.”
“I actually planned on being a little farther back and making my run a little bit later (in the Southwest),” Moquett said. “But the way the track was playing (fast), I think we did the best thing.”
Since winning the Smarty Jones and Southwest in 2015 with Far Right, Moquett has finished second to eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Arkansas Derby (Far Right), second in the 2016 Southwest (Whitmore), second in the 2016 Rebel (Whitmore) third in the 2016 Arkansas Derby (Whitmore), second in the 2017 Smarty Jones (Petrov) and second in the 2017 Southwest (Petrov).
“It’s frustrating, all but financially,” said Moquett, who also co-owns Whitmore.
Lookin at Lee
Immediately following the late-running Lookin At Lee’s third-place finish in the Southwest, Asmussen said “100 percent the plan for him is to stay here and get the races in him. A mile and a sixteenth again next time, I think he’ll be better with the race in him. He’s got a very laid-back demeanor. He’s a big, heavy horse. He’ll benefit from the race, but he’s got a lot of ground to make up.”
By Dick Downey with content from an Oaklawn release