Who Wins The Rebel Stakes ?

The Grade 2, $1 million dollar Rebel Stakes on Saturday, is the third of four official prep races at Oaklawn Park on The Road To The Kentucky Derby.

The 1 1/16-mile race has attracted eleven 3-year-olds who will compete for the 50-20-15-10-5 points that go to the top five eligible finishers.

1. VERIFYING [ML 2-1] Trainer: Brad Cox. Jockey: Florent Geroux. Was a debut Winner at Saratoga with a front-end effort as a heavy favorite. He stepped up to Grade 1 company in the Champagne, where he had the lead in the stretch and finished 2nd to BLAZING SEVENS. In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, VERIFYING basically ran 6th the entire race. In his 3-year-old debut he Won an Allowance at Oaklawn by more than five lengths, earning a big speed figure.  

2. POWERFUL [ML 20-1] Trainer: Steve Asmussen. Jockey: Isaac Castillo. Another Maiden Winner at Saratoga– which came in his second start after a loss by a head in his first race. In the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), he broke slowly and was far back the entire race. He cut back to sprinting to end his 2-year-old campaign with a Victory in the Ed Brown at Churchill Downs. The Rebel will be his first start of 2023. POWERFUL should play a part in a fast pace scenario.  

3. RED ROUTE ONE [ML 10-1] Trainer: Steve Asmussen. Jockey: Cristian Torres. Began his career on the turf, and he broke his Maiden at Kentucky Downs in his second start. He moved to the Derby trail and finished 3rd in the Breeders’ Futurity, 4th in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and 2nd in the Southwest Stakes. If there is a fast pace, it will set up RED ROUTE ONE for his late closing move. 

4. GUN PILOT [ML 8-1] Trainer: Steve Asmussen. Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. In November he broke his Maiden in his first race by two lengths as an odds-on favorite at Churchill going seven furlongs. He returned for his second race and finished 2nd behind VERIFYING in that January Allowance. Three weeks ago, GUN PILOT raced from a stalking position to Win an Allowance by two lengths going a mile as a heavy favorite and defeating BOURBON BASH

5. GIANT MISCHIEF [ML 5-2] Trainer: Brad Cox. Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr. Began his career with a pair of Wins. In September he broke his Maiden at Horseshoe Indiana and then moved up to an Allowance at Keeneland. Cox moved him onto the Derby trail in the Springboard Mile, where he lunged at the break and had to rally from last to get up for 2nd. He will make his first start of the year in the Rebel

6. REINCARNATE [ML 7-2] Trainer: Tim Yakteen. Jockey: John Velazquez. He is the first 3-year-old to move from the Bob Baffert barn and appear in a prep race in an effort to become eligible for the Kentucky Derby. After three 3rd-place finishes, including two on turf, REINCARNATE broke his Maiden with a front-end run going a mile at Del Mar in November. Last month he Won the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita while racing for Baffert.

7. CONFIDENCE GAME [ML 15-1] Trainer: Keith Desormeaux. Jockey: James Graham. After getting his Maiden Win in his second start at Churchill, he has run twice on the Derby trail, running 5th in the Iroquois (G3) and a 3rd in the recent Lecomte (G3). Between those Stakes races, CONFIDENCE GAME had a 2nd and a Win in Allowances in Kentucky. 

8. TALLADEGA [ML 30-1] Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset. Jockey: Flavien Prat. Needed five starts to get his first Win, which came on a wet sealed track at Oaklawn with a gate-to-wire run going two turns. As a 2-year-old in his second race he finished 3rd behind GUN PILOT.  

9. EVENT DETAIL [ML 30-1] Trainer: Paulo Lobo. Jockey: Gerardo Corrales. Got his Maiden Victory in his third start, which was at Turfway Park going a mile on the synthetic surface in a field of 12. He began his career on the main track at Churchill Downs when he was 6th, competing against talented runners. 

10. BOURBON BASH [ML 20-1] Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas. Jockey: Mickaelle Michel. Was an eight-length Winner of a Maiden at Saratoga. From there, the Hall of Fame trainer put him in a series of Stakes races. He was distanced in a pair of Grade 1s but was more competitive in lesser Stakes in Kentucky, with two top-three finishes. Three weeks ago, BOURBON BASH was 2nd in an Allowance at Oaklawn after having the lead in the stretch. 

11. FROSTED DEPARTURE [ML 20-1] Trainer: Kenny McPeek. Jockey: Francisco Arrieta. This gray son of FROSTED brings plenty of experience to the Rebel, including a 3rd in the Southwest Stakes. He is at his best when he is one of the pacesetters, but that presents a challenge here, breaking from the far outside in this Derby prep race. 

The Rebel Stakes is listed as race 11 on a card of 12 with a scheduled Post Time of 6:25.

The track at Oaklawn was listed as Sloppy on Friday, and there is a 58% chance of rain Saturday in Hot Springs.

With that in mind, best of luck with all your plays.

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