Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert already holds the record and looks to extend it going for his seventh win in Saturday’s $1 million Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park with the promising Nadal.
Nadal was installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite and will break from the rail in a field of eight. The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 50-20-10-5 points up for grabs.
The race serves as a prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 11. That race is worth 100-40-20-10 Derby points.
Joel Rosario will ride Nadal, who will break from the rail as the colt attempted to stamp his ticket to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 2.
“Nadal, he looks beautiful right now,” assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said. “He’s coming into this race so well. He’s had two starts now – first time stretching out – and it looks to me like he will stretch out. He went over the track beautiful this morning. One more day of training and we’ll find out.”
Nadal is currently listed at +1000 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at Jazz Sports. The only Derby contenders lower are Tiz the Law at +600 and Authentic at +500.
Nadal’s biggest threat may be from one of the three Steve Asmussen trainee. Silver Prospector is coming off a victory in the Southwest (G3) and is a logical player.
While the NBA, NHL and MLB have halted games due to Coronavirus, so far horse racing is going on although in California and New York there will be no spectators. Keeneland announced there will be no spectators when their Spring meeting next month.
Let’s head out to Oaklawn Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Oaklawn Park Race 10 The Rebel (G2) Post time 5:23 CT
1 Nadal 5-2
4 Silver Prospector 7-2
8 American Theorem 6-1
6 Three Technique 7-2
There has been a lot of hype about this colt and he gets his first two-turn test here. The $700,000 Keeneland purchase broke his maiden in his debut at Santa Anita going 6 ½ furlongs in a good looking effort. His stakes debut came in the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2) where he dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely to win by ¾ of a length with his speed fig regressing. He is bred to go long, by Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Blame out of a Pulpit mare. That is a solid off track pedigree and there is rain in the forecast. Baffert is 22% winners moving runners from sprint to route and has owned this race. The Hall of Fame trainer has won this race a record six times. Among those winners was The Factor who won in 2011, using the San Vicente as a prep. Breaking from the rail Rosario figures to send him and over a wet track that looks like the right move. The 5-2 morning line seems generous, I think we are looking at a bit shorter.
This colt is one of three runners in here sent out by the Asmussen barn that won this race in ’19 with Long Range Toddy, who had finished third in the Southwest (G3) in his previous start. This colt won the Southwest, stalking the early pace while saving ground and taking over the lead heading for home, drawing clear late to win by a length. He bounced back after a disappointing fourth two back in the Smarty Jones in the mud. He won the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) three back at Churchill Downs in the slop. He should get a good tracking trip sitting just off the pace.
The son of American Pharoah is making his first start since running second last September in the race named after his sire. He was beaten by Eight Rings who ran sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his next start for Baffert. The ridgling was a smart looking maiden winner in his debut at Del Mar going 5 ½ furlongs. He is bred to like a wet track and is a half to three stakes winners, top earner Cyclogenesis ($198,750). Looks as if this guy likely is going to end up getting overlooked in the betting.
WIN: Nadal to win at 9-5 or better.
EXACTA: 1,4 / 1,4,6,8
TRIFECTA: 1,4 / 1,4,6,8 / 1,3,4,6,8