Rebel Stakes Picks – 2019 Derby Prep Race Analysis
Race: Rebel Stakes-G2, Oaklawn Park, Split Into Two Divisions
Date: Race 8 and Race 10, Saturday, March 16, 2019
Distance: 1 1 1/16-miles. Surface: Dirt. Purse: $750,000
2019 Rebel Stakes Picks – Division One, Race 8
- Long Range Toddy
- Extra Hope
Longshot Flyer – Classy John
Rebel Stakes – First Division Race Analysis
Improbable tops the first division of the Rebel Stakes and he looks unbeatable for trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the Rebel six times.
Last seen winning his third in a row in the Los Alamitos Futurity-G1 by five lengths on December 10, Improbable has come back with a strong series of works in preparation for the Rebel and should be ready off the layoff.
Let’s take a look at the exacta possibilities.
Extra Hope forced the pace while rating kindly to win an N1X allowance going a mile over a sloppy track at Santa Anita on January 31 and looked happy and eager doing it. He was running away from his field late and should move forward in his second start off the layoff, but he was well beaten by Improbable in the Los Alamitos Futurity.
Long Range Toddy comes into the race off a third-place finish in the Southwest Stakes-G3 at Oaklawn Park on February 18. He was steadied early in that race, stalked a contested pace from the inside and finished willingly, but he was still outrun, and he’ll need much better against these.
Corruze finished fifth in his last start over the turf at in a minor stakes at Fair Grounds and really had no excuse. He did break his maiden on the slop at Keeneland, but he’ll need to improve a ton on the dirt to get into the exacta here.
Easy Shot finished third beaten five lengths by Much Gusto in the R B Lewis at Santa Anita in his last, and although he was only beaten a half-length by Gunmetal Gray, who is 10-1 in the second division of the Rebel, he just didn’t look like he was that interested late.
Ninth Street shipped over from Delta Downs to Oaklawn for the Southwest Stakes-G3 in his last and finished ninth. He gets a switch to top Oaklawn Park jockey Ricardo Santa Jr. and also gets blinkers off for top trainer Steve Asmussen, who has won at a 42 percent clip with that angle from 12 starters. His numbers say he’s too slow, but at gargantuan odds, you could use him in some superfectas.
Classy John is an interesting speed horse that could be on the lead over a track that does favor speed. He was rated in his last, a minor stake at Delta Downs, and opened up into the stretch only to be caught late. He probably shouldn’t have lost that race, which was his first try at a route, and if he tries to rate and go with this bunch late, he’ll get swamped.
If Classy John opens up early on the switch to leading Oaklawn Park rider David Cohen, it will be interesting to see how far he can go and he has to be used in the superfectas on a speed favoring track. Wheel him up and down in a $1 exacta just for fun and see how far he goes. You never know.
Galilean is a neck away from being undefeated after four starts and has three stakes wins in restricted company, including a big win in the California Cup Derby at Santa Anita in his last going the Rebel distance of 1 1/16-miles. With sharp trainer Jerry Hollendorfer at the helm, Flavien Prat in the saddle, and solid second-best numbers in here, he would be the most logical upsetter.
Proud Nation is a maiden owned by the same connections as Game Winner and appears over his head in here as a race-filler.
Rebel Stakes Division 1 Morning Line Odds
Race 8, 5:57 PM ET
- Extra Hope (6-1)
- Long Range Toddy (10-1)
- Corruze (30-1)
- Easy Shot (15-1)
- Proud Nation (50-1)
- Ninth Street (50-1)
- Classy John (15-1)
- Galilean (3-1)
- Improbable (3-5)
2019 Rebel Stakes Picks – Division Two, Race 10
- Game Winner
- Laughing Fox
- Omaha Beach
- Gunmetal Gray
Longshot – Captain Von Trapp
Rebel Stakes – Second Division Analysis
Game Winner won his fourth in a row in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 the last time we saw him on November 2. Like Improbable, he also looks like he outclasses his rivals in his division of the Rebel, and is proven off a layoff (won his first-lifetime start), and he has also been working well for Baffert.
This second division looks like it could be a little more competitive and tougher than the first, at least for those horses trying to get into the exacta.
Market King comes out of an N1X allowance sprint that looked like it was designed to sharpen the speed of this horse for Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas. He broke his maiden two starts ago at Oaklawn Park going the Rebel distance, and he’ll be trying to steal this with another Hall of Famer in the saddle, John Velazquez, but he does face other speed.
Laughing Fox has won two in a row at the Rebel distance, including an N1X allowance that earned him a Beyer Speed Figure of 87 on the same day that Super Steed got the same figure for winning the Southwest Stakes on the same day. One of four in here trained by Steve Asmussen, he made a nice move in the last race and also showed some fight in the stretch. Looks like he could have some upside and now gets a class test.
Parsimony arrives from Santa Anita as a maiden who finished second on the turf in a Maiden Special Weight in his last race going 1 1/8-miles for trainer Doug O’Neill, who adds blinkers for this race, a move in which he wins at a 17% clip, but it’s asking a lot for him to perform well with this bunch.
Jersey Agenda had won two in a row before trying the Southwest Stakes in his last, but that didn’t go too well. He was bumped on the first turn and ended up in a duel that took its toll, and he faded to finish eighth, beaten 10 lengths. His game is speed, but he’ll need even more of it here. If he doesn’t clear early, he’ll have his work cut out for him, and even if he does, he’ll likely have to go too fast to keep the lead.
Omaha Beach broke his maiden by an impressive nine lengths at Santa Anita, earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, and looks like he has some upside. Beaten only a half-length in his first start off the layoff going a mile on January 4, he’s rateable, and he’s also a half-brother to champion Take Charge Brandi. Not sure if he’s ready for these yet, but he should make a bid, and you never know. Still, the 7/2 morning line isn’t very enticing against Game Winner.
Our Braintrust comes into the Rebel with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure earned from a neck loss in the Withers Stakes-G3 going 1 1/8-miles at Aqueduct. He’s another who could make a bid in the stretch here, but although he was bumped in the stretch in the Withers, we would have liked to have seen more fight in him.
Gunmetal Gray finished second to runaway winner Much Gusto in the R B Lewis at Santa Anita in his last but was well beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by Game Winner last year. He has some class to him as shown by a win in the Sham Stakes-G3 two starts ago at Santa Anita going a mile, and he can make a good late run if he gets some pace to run at. His numbers are not quite as high as some in here, but at 10-1 on the morning line, he is worth including in the superfectas.
Kaziranga was steadied in late turn in his first start off the layoff behind fellow entrant Laughing Fox and ended up fifth beaten 12 ¼-length by that one. He could improve in his second start off the layoff, but it would take quite a bit of improvement for him to finish in the superfecta.
Captain Von Trapp has won two in a row at Oaklawn, including an NW2 allowance going a mile in is last. He’s on the improve and should be considered a superfecta longshot at 15-1 on the morning line for top trainer Asmussen.
Rebel Stakes Division 2 Morning Line Odds
Race 10, 7:06 PM ET
- Market King (30-1)
- Laughing Fox (10-1)
- Parsimony (30-1)
- Jersey Agenda (15-1)
- Game Winner (4-5)
- Omaha Beach (7-2)
- Our Braintrust (6-1)
- Gunmetal Gray (10-1)
- Kaziranga (50-1)
- Captain Von Trapp (15-1)