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Rebel Stakes

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 3/13/2015 3:17:37 AM

About the Race and Track

The Grade 2 $400,000 Rebel Stakes is a prep for the Arkansas Derby and the winner of the race will solidify himself as a probable starter in the Kentucky Derby.

A compact cast of 7 will line up in the mile and a sixteenth fixture but the field lost a ton of luster when champion Take Charge Brandi was hurt as she was aiming to be fact the juvenile champ, American Pharoah.

Some nice runners have won this race over the years. Sunny’s Halo won this race in 1983 and eventually got the money the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. Pine Bluff, Victory Gallop, Lawyer Ron and Curlin also won the Rebel and Smarty Jones not only took the Rebel in 2004 but was unbeaten going into the Belmont Stakes when seeking the Triple Crown but got beat by Birdstone and never raced again.

Last year, Hoppertunity was coming off a 4th in the Risen Star before getting a perfect trip in the Rebel winning with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

In 2013 Will Take Charge got up by a head in the Rebel earning a 96 Beyer and he verified that form winning a pair of Grade 1s since and just running second in the Big ‘Cap at Santa Anita last week.

A Longshot With Some Value: Madefromlucky

Madefromlucky rates an upset glance today. There is not a ton of speed in the Rebel and would expect this Todd Pletcher charge to fall into a nice trip, maybe sitting third early hoping the leaders wilt.

The Pick: American Pharoah (Win)

From the rail out The Truth Or Else will step into the gate first. He has been handled in 7 of his 8 races. The victory came at a mile at Belmont Park and he nearly pulled off a 22-1 upset in the Southwest.

Madefromlucky ran poorly at Monmouth Park early in his career but he upset a maiden field at Gulfstream and came back and beat winners with authority.

Tizwonderfulcreek will be trying to win on dirt for the first time. His lone win came at 17-1 in his 2014 finale but his 2 local outs leave much to be desired.

American Pharoah would have been the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile if he didn’t get hurt but he still was awarded the Eclipse Award. In his last race, the Bob Baffert student beat Texas Red by nearly 5 lengths and that runner went on to win the Juvenile.

This will be his first start since taking the FrontRunner at Santa Anita and he has worked the proverbial hole in the wind for this event. He posted a bullet 7-furlong drill in late February and just 8 days ago sizzled out of the gate with a 1:10 2/5 move.

Bold Conquest could have been compromised by the slop in this 2015 debut. He has only won once but he lost by a neck in a Grade 3 and was not disgraced when beaten by the Tampa Bay Derby winner Carpe Diem.

Paid Admission is in the good hands of 24% trainer Chris Richard. He will be trying to win going long for the first time and he was handled easily in his other stakes attempt.

Sakima has a right to run all day as a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin but he has never finished first in a race. He was awarded the diploma in the 2015 debut when bothered and pushed out.

Poseidon’s Way has only run one poor race and he was steadied in that effort. He rebounded in a big way about a month ago beating allowance horses when losing a little ground late.

American Pharoah appears to be a stand out in this race. He has the top last-race and career Beyer, can control his own destiny since he has commanding speed and Baffert knows a little about this race as his trainees have won the Rebel 4 of the last 5 years.



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