Rebel Stakes is the next leg for Money on the Horses as we dive deeper into the race set for February 25, 2023 at Oaklawn Park.
Rebel Stakes History
This is aq Grade 2 race that began in 1961 and has grown in significance over the years. This race will award Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top five finishers in a 50-30-15-10-5 basis. The winner is likely to be guaranteed a spot on the first Saturday of May in the prestigious Kentucky Derby.
This race formerly was known as the Rebel Handicap and in 1980, Temperance Hill won this race and went on to become Belmont Stakes winner and was named 3-year-old male champion. Then three year later Sunny’s Hero won the Rebel and claimed the Kentucky Derby which enhanced the status of this race.
The Rebel was lengthened from 1 mile and 70 yards to its current distance of 1 1⁄16 miles in 1984.
Winners kept coming from the Rebel such as 1992 Preakness (G1) winner Pine Bluff, 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop, and beloved 2004 Kentucky Derby/Preakness hero Smarty Jones.
In 2004, the purse rose from $125,000 to $1 million in 2020. In 2008 the Rebel Stakes was bumped to Grade 2 status.This list of winners is impressive with Lawyer Ron (2006), Curlin (2007), Lookin At Lucky (2010), Will Take Charge (2013), and American Pharoah (2015) all claimed top honors in the Rebel, and American Pharoah achieved special renown with his subsequent successes in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse in 37 years to sweep the Triple Crown.
Seven of the eleven horses in the Rebel Stakes have already run in a Derby points qualifying race with four of them earning points. Red Route One has 13 points that it nabbed so far.
Red Route One leads the way with 13 points that he earned in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and most recently in the Southwest (G3), where he was second.
Let’s preview the horses.
- Verifying– He is the sire of Justify and is trained by Brad Cox. He won his debut at Saratoga as a favorite and finished second in the Champagne to get four points. This is horse is 4-1 odds to win and has a chance.
2- Powerful – 12-1 odds and is the son of Nyquist with Steve Asmussen as the trainer. He got his maiden in his second start at Saratoga. Look for this horse to start fast but not in the money at the end.
3. Red Route One– the son of Gun Runner and is trained by Steve Asmussen. This horse broke his maiden in his second start at Kentucky Downs. He finished third in the Breeders’ Futurity, fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and second in the Southwest to earn 13 qualifying points. Red Route One is a strong closer and is 8-1 odds to win. Possible winner
4- Gun Pilot is 8-1 to win and is also the son of Gun Runner and trained by Asmussen. This horse broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in a seven furlongs race. In January, he was second to Verifying. In a race three weeks ago he won an allowance race by two lengths over Bourbon Bash. Likely not in the money.
5- Giant Mischief-Trained by Brad Cox, this horse is the son of Into Mischief and has 7-2 odds to win the Rebel Stakes. this horse began his racing career with a pair of wins. At Horseshoe Indiana he broke his maiden in September.Then he finished second at the Springboard Mile coming back from last place after lunging out of the gate. He will make his first start of the year in the Rebel. Can win.
6- Reincarnate– is the son of Good Magic and at 3-1 odds is trained by Tim Yakteen. He has three third place finishes. This horse comes from the barn of Bob Baffert. He broke his maiden in the mile Del Mar in November. At Santa Anita, e won the Grade 3 Sham. He is capable of winning the Rebel Stakes.
7- Confidence Game– Trained by Keith Desormeaux and the son of Candy Ride at 12-1 odds to win. He got his maiden in his second start at Churchill Downs and he seven points already accumulated for the Derby with a fifth in the Iroquois and third in the Lecomte. Not likely to win but could be a longshot.
8- Talladega– is 15-1 odds to win the Rebel Stakes. He is the son of Into Mischief and is trained by Rodolphe Brisset. It took five races for this horse to get his maiden on a wet track at Oaklawn. Not much chance to win.
9- Event Detail– the son of City of Light and is 20-1 odds to win.This horse broke his maiden in this third start at Turfway Park. Not much incentive to bet this entry.
10- Bourbon Bash is also 20-1 odds and the son of City of Light and trained by D. Wayne Lukas. In his maiden, he won by eight length at Saratoga, Three weeks ago, Bourbon Bash was second in an allowance at Oaklawn after having the lead in the stretch. Not in the money.
11. Frosted Departure is the son of Frosted and trained by Kenny McPeek with 20-1 odds to win the Rebel Stakes This horse received six Derby points for his third place in the Southwest. With this horse being a pace setter on most races, the outside draw is a dagger. Don’t look for this horse in the money.
Rebel Stakes Predictions:
The Rebel Stakes 2023 will have a fast pace with several horses such as Confidence Game, Frosted Departure , Powerful and Reincarnate vying for the lead early. This is just what Verifying and Giant Mischief will be hanging around stalking them so they can use their strength of finishing strong.Both are Brad Cox horses.
Giant Mischief is our winner… He had some time off and that will help. Verifying is second.
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