This weeks feature Kentucky Derby Prep Race is the Rebel Stakes. Which is race 10, Saturday March, 17 at Oaklawn Park Racetrack. It is a Grade 2 stakes race with a total purse of $900,000 american dollars, as well as 50 points toward Kentucky Derby entry. There are 11 horses scheduled to start in this race. I’ll give you my breakdown of how I see the top 5.
#3 SOLOMINI. This horse is a MONSTER. His speed figures in his last 3 races are the best in the field. He has raced in, and won big money races. Solomini in his 4 lifetime starts has never been out of the money. He is trained by silver-haired, Californian (and Alan Bennett clone) Bob Baffert. He is ridden by Flavien Prat. The only issue I see with this animal is that he hasn’t race since December 9th of last year. That is a long lay-off, and good enough reason for me to try and beat him with a horse who will offer better odds than his morning line 3-2.
#7 SPORTING CHANCE. The human connections are good. Trained by D. Wayne Lucas, who’s barn is looking better than it has in some time. Sporting Chance is ridden by Hall Of Fame Jockey John Velazquez. (or Johnny V.) He too has raced in with some talented company, has decent speed, has raced well over this track back on February 10th. He too has never been out of the money in his 4 career starts. Morning line odds on this horse are 5-1.
#1 TITLE READY. At 8-1 morning line, he will be my live-long shot for this race. The horse is making a big jump in class, but I’m going to bet he’s ready to graduate and play with the big guys. Hot trainer Steve Asmussen, gets a HUGE positive jockey change, as the hottest rider on the east coast, Jose Ortiz takes the reins. This horse has decent speed, been in the money four out of five races, AND won on this track, at the same distance back on February 1st. I hope I can get 8-1.
#10 COMBATANT. Steve Asmussen has 3 horses entered in this race. I give the #9 no consideration, so this horse is in play. His speed numbers are second only to SOLOMINI. Veteran rider Ricardo Santana, Jr. is aboard. This horse has five starts, each time he was in the money, ran second twice on this track, last time being February 10th. This 8-1 horse should be on the ticket.
#4 MAGNUM MOON. This horse is lightly raced (2 starts) but has won both races. He showed decent speed in those races. While this is a big jump in class for a horse with little racing experience, I never under estimate a Todd Pletcher trained horse in a Kentucky Derby Prep Race. The morning line is 7-2 with Luis Saez aboard.
With these 5 in mind I will do a trifecta key using the 1 on top with 3-4-7-10. And an exacta box with 1-7-10. I see no reason to put a 3-2 horse (#3) in the exacta, if it were to win, I may not get back the cost of my 3 horse exacta. Look For Value. Best of luck no matter who you play in this race.