Led by the Bob Baffert trained Solomini, a field of 11 will line up on Saturday at Oaklawn Park in the $900,000 Rebel (G2) with points toward entry into the Run for the Roses up for grabs.
The Rebel is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points races with 50-20-10-5 points to the top four finishers. The race serves a prep for the marquee event of the meeting, the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 14.
Currently Bolt d’Oro, winner of the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita last Saturday is in first place in the Road to the Kentucky Derby point standings with 64.
The Baffert trained Solomini is the 3-2 morning line favorite for the Rebel and is 15th in the Derby point standings with 14. He crossed the wire first in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) on Dec. 9 in his last start but was disqualified for interference and placed third.
Flavian Prat has the return call and will break from the three post. The colt is currently listed at 10-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at USRacing.
Baffert has won the Rebel in six of the last eight years, reeling off three in a row from ’10 –’12 with Lookin At Lucky, The Factor and Secret Circle and again from ’14 to ’16 with Hoppertunity, American Pharoah and Cupid.
Trainer Todd Pletcher saddled last year’s winner Malagacy and is back this year with Magnum Moon (7-2), who makes his stakes debut. Luis Saez has the call and will break from post four. The colt is 10-1 in early Derby betting at USRacing.
Sporting Chance (5-1) is coming off a third in the Southwest (G3) in his three-year-old debut. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee won the Hopeful (G1) last year and is 12-1 in future Derby betting at USRacing.
Let’s head out to Oaklawn Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Oaklawn Park Race 10 The Rebel (G2) Post time 6:09 CT
3 Solomini 3-2
7 Sporting Chance 5-1
4 Magnum Moon 7-2
8 High North 12-1
Solomini makes his first start since crossing the wire first in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in December and placed third for causing interference in the stretch. His stablemate McKinzie was placed first and came back to win the Sham (G3) and crossed the wire first in the San Felipe (G2) only to get disqualified for interference and placed second. Instilled Regard exited the Los Al Futurity to win the Lecomte (G3) and then run fourth in the Risen Star (G2).
Our top pick was a very accomplished juvenile, running second to Bolt d’Oro in the Frontrunner (G1) and then second to Good Magic in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Baffert has won this race in six of the last eight years including with American Pharoah, who was making his first start since the Frontrunner. The $270,000 Keeneland purchase is by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of a Storm Cat mare that has dropped four other winners. Three bullet works on the morning tab and he looks ready to go off the bench. Baffert is 29% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
Sporting Chance was my top pick in the Southwest (G3) here and that was his first go off a 5 ½ month layoff. The colt caught a muddy track and stalked the early pace from the two path and then lost his momentum when bumped and jostled at the eighth pole. Checking in third. He made his stakes debut last September in the Hopeful (G1) and prevailed by a neck in a game effort over Free Drop Billy, who won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) in his next start and Firenze Fire, who won the Champagne (G1) in his next start.
His last outing was his first going around two turns and he should move forward off that effort with a cleaner trip. The more ground the better, the $575,000 Keeneland purchase is by Tiznow out of the stakes winner Wynning Ride ($345,108) who is by Candy Ride.
Magnum Moon makes his stakes debut here for the Pletcher barn. The colt broke his maiden going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park and then beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Tampa Bay Downs in his first start around two turns. The colt has earned solid numbers and looks ready for his shot at making it to Louisville. The $380,000 Keeneland purchase is by Malibu Moon out of an Unbridled’s Song mare. The colt has been working sharply at Palm Beach Downs for Pletcher, who won this race last year with Malagacy, who exited an allowance score at Gulfstream Park.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EXACTA: 3,7 / 3,4,7,8
TRIFECTA: 3,7 / 3,4,7,8 / 2,3,4,7,8
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