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Oaklawn Parks' Rebel Stakes Preview

Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Saturday March 13, 2021
As the Kentucky Derby picture begins to take shape, all eyes will be on Oaklawn Park this weekend for the Grade 2 $1 Million Rebel Stakes.

Race Card Schedule

Oaklawn will feature a fantastic 12 race card that includes:

  • 3:03 pm EST- The $350,000 G2 Azeri Stakes for 4-year-old and upward fillies and mares featuring 2020 Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil (2-1 ML)
  • 4:08 pm EST -The 500K Essex Handicap for 4 year olds+ includes Danny Gargan’s Tax, who looks to rebound from a lackluster performance in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park last out. Joel Rosario picks up the mount and deserves a live look
  • 5:13 pm EST-The $150K Temperance Hill Stakes for 4-year-olds and upward features a full field of contenders going a mile and a half. This race could produce some big numbers on the tote board. A live longshot play is Treasure Trove, which is listed at 12-1 in the ML but, with Mike Maker and Florent Geroux, he will surely get some play.
  • 5:45 pm EST- The 200K Hot Springs for 4-year-old sprinters featuring horse for course Whitmore who is 9 for 14 at Oaklawn and never missed the board. Whitmore was last seen winning the Breeders Cup Sprint at Keeneland.
  • 6:16 pm EST- The Grade 2 $1 Million Rebel Stakes Bob Baffert saddles undefeated Concert Tour who is unbeaten in 2 sprints at Santa Anita Park but will be facing much tougher trying two turns for the first time. Baffert also saddles Hozier, fresh off a maiden win going 2 turns at Santa Anita. Baffert is seeking his 8th Rebel win. Several likely contenders in the feature. 

Contenders to Watch

The G2 Rebel Stakes preludes the G1 Arkansas Derby and features several prominent Derby contenders for the first Saturday in May. Trainer Brad Cox saddles Caddo River while leading trainer Steve Asmussen saddles Big Lake and Super Stock. There are several other notable contenders. Robertino Diodoro sends out Keepmeinmind, who is making his first start of 2021while Jockey Javier Castellano comes in to ride Get Her Number for Peter Miller.

Get Her Number was last seen at Santa Anita in the winner’s circle of the grade 1 American Pharoah. He is the only Grade 1 winner in the race.
Racing is heating up all over the country as we get deeper into the Kentucky Derby prep season. While there are no other derby preps this weekend, Laurel Park offers five non-graded stakes Saturday, and Santa Anita has two graded stakes, including the Grade 1 Beholder Mile, which features 2-star fillies: Multiple Grade 1 and Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver as well as Harvest Moon who was a respectable 4th last out in the Breeders Cup Distaff behind two-time Eclipse award winner Monomoy Girl.

The following week, all eyes turn to Louisiana as the Fair Grounds host their crown jewel, the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Oaks and Derby. The week after, South Florida’s hottest two minutes bring an end to the Gulfstream Park Champions meet with the Grade 1 Florida Derby. Aqueduct, Keeneland, and Santa Anita wrap up the prep season in April with the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass, and Santa Anita Derby, respectfully.
 
In the wagering world, several Pick 6 and Pick 5 carryovers surround a full slate of Saturday racing, notably, Tampa Bay Downs has a 51K carryover in the pick 5.

Lock of the Day, Longshot Picks, and Bets Against

My Lock of the Day: Tax (3-1) #4 horse in 7th race at Oaklawn. He has plenty of tactical speed to go to the front or rate just off. He should relish dropping in class. 3-1 too much value.
 
Longshot play: Sensible Jim, #12 in 7th race at GP (10-1 ML)- Hunch play, HOF trainer Carl Nafzger saddles his 1st horse since 2019. Also, Girl Watcher, 11 horse in the 4th race at Oaklawn. No reason JJ Castellano has to take this mount.
 
Favorite Bet against: Letruska 3 Horse in 5th at Oaklawn. Up against much better here than Sam Houston, should be plenty of speed in the race

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