2008 Rebel Stakes Recap

2008 Rebel Stakes Recap
by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com

Sierra Sunset continues in right Derby direction with Rebel win at Oaklawn

March 15, 2008 Sierra Sunset continued to improve on his way to the Kentucky Derby on May 3, with a relatively easy win in the 48th running of the $300,000 Rebel Stakes-G2 at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.

Rating kindly back and outside of pacesetter Sacred Journey under jockey Chris Emigh, Sierra Sunset moved to press three-wide after fractions of 22.97 and 46.58, took a short lead without being asked in late turn after six furlongs in 1:11.61, opened up in mid stretch to get the mile in 1:37.41 and was never threatened to the wire, getting the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.88 over a fast strip. Recent maiden-breaker Kings Silver Son trailed to late in the final turn, advanced five-wide and then drifted in while rallying for second, three lengths behind the winner. He could improve in his next start.

It was a further 2 -lengths back to longshot Isabull, who made a place bid in the drive before fading to finish third. Golden Yank, making his first start since Dec. 7, also rallied to make a place bid before tiring to finish fourth, 1 3/4-lengths behind Isabull. Favored Z Fortune stalked outside and looked like a tired horse in the drive, finishing evenly while still managing to hold fifth money.

The winner, trained by Jeff Bonde for the partnership of Philip Lebherz, Al Mariani and George Schmidt, returned $10.40 as the second choice in the wagering. A 3-year-old colt by Bertrando-Toot Sweet by Pirates Bounty, Sierra Sunset increased his lifetime earnings to $428,696 with his Rebel victory, from a record of 4-3-1 in 11 starts.

In his start before the Rebel on Feb. 18, Sierra Sunset had finished a decent second to the undefeated Denis of Cork in the Southwest Stakes. A winner of both the Bay Meadows and California Cup Juveniles at two, Sierra Sunset recorded a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 99 in the Rebel, seven points better than the 92 he received for his Southwest race.

There still appears to be some room for improvement in Sierra Sunset, but hell also likely need a few more notches when he faces better in the $1 million Arkansas Derby-G2 going a mile and an eighth on April 12.

He will however, be a horse for the course.

Rebel Stakes Results and Payoffs

March 15, 2008 - 10th Race Oaklawn Park

Sierra Sunset $10.40 $4.80 $3.80

7 Kings Silver Son $11.00 $5.40

1 Isabull $8.00

5 Golden Yank

$2 Exacta 2-7 paid $173.60

$1 Trifecta 2-7-1 paid $1105.40

$1 Superfecta 2-7-1-5 paid $6,442.90