A few days removed from Monday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, trainer Cody Autrey was happy with how his two horses came out of the Grade 3 race but is charting different courses for his Smarty Jones winner Tanzanite Cat and opening weekend maiden winner Paganol.
Tanzanite Cat finished fifth after setting the early pace in the 1 1/16-mile Southwest, while Paganol ran 10th of 12.
"Both of them came back really good, but I think Paganol just needs some more races and mature," Autrey explained. "But Tanzanite Cat might go in the Rebel or rhe Northern Spur. We've got our options open. We might see Tanzanite Cat in the Rebel, but not Paganol. We'll let him grow up a little bit, maybe give him 30-40 days."
The Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel will take place over the same track and distance of the Southwest on March 15. The $100,000 Northern Spur is scheduled for April 12 at a mile.
Trainer Brad Cox had been hoping Grade 3 winner Dunkin Bend, who joined his barn at the first of the year, would start in last Monday's Southwest, but when weather interrupted his training schedule he elected to change plans. Instead of racing Monday, the gray son of Dunkirk worked a half-mile in :50 2/5 last Sunday.
"It was a good work," Cox said. "We're keeping our options open now. There's the ($100,000) Gazebo (at six furlongs on) March 22, an allowance race March 2 or maybe the Rebel.
"He's a nice horse. Is he a Triple Crown horse? He'll have to prove that, but there's no doubt he has talent and ability. He's done everything right and is training forwardly."
Cox did say that he is also considering Sheltowee's Boy, an impressive allowance winner on the Southwest undercard, for the Rebel as well.