2012 Rebel Stakes Picks and Analysis
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2012
Rebel Stakes Rematch: Secret Circle vs Scatman and 11 rivals
Rebel Stakes, Oaklawn Park, Race 10, Saturday, March 17, 2012
3-Year-Olds, Grade II, 1 1/16-Miles, Dirt, Purse $500,000
Rebel Stakes Picks
Rebel Stakes Superfecta Longshots:Unbridleds Note, Atigun, Adirondack King, Najjaar
Rebel Stakes Analysis
Secret Circlegutted out a win in the second division of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park a month ago by half a length over Scatman going a mile. Hes likely going to have to do the same again, only this timeScatmanwill be fitter and theres an extra sixteenth of a mile to navigate.
The 52ndrunning of the Rebel Stakes has attracted a field of 13, nine of which ran in one of the two divisions of the Southwest on February 20, and its likely were going to see the same pace scenario we saw in those races. Scatman will go to the front from the inside. Secret Circle will press from the outside and try to wear down Scatman again late as he did in the Southwest. Some are saying Secret Circle might not have the pedigree to get the distance but were not buying it yet.
Both Secret Circle and Scatman are making their third starts off layoffs and are expected to keep moving forward off the triple digit Beyer Speed Figures they earned in the Southwest. Under-rated rider Luis Quinonez will again be aboard Scatman and he should once again give Raphael Bejarano on Secret Circle all he can handle late. The trainer edge, however, has to go to Secret Circle, with Bob Baffert at the helm. Baffert won this race in 2010 with Lookin At Lucky and in 2011 with The Factor.
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After the top two the Rebel becomes wide open and we do like a few longshots.
The trip horse well take in our Rebel Superfectas isUnbridleds Note. He made his first start as a 3-year-old in the first Division of the Southwest Stakes and broke awkwardly before finding minor traffic trouble and finishing ninth, 7 1/4-lengths behind Castaway but only 3 -lengths behind second place finisher Jake Mo. His trip did not cost him a better placing, he simply got tired. He also appeared to be racing greenly in only his second lifetime start, and first at route.
A solid maiden winner from just off the pace going six furlongs over Special Weight rivals at Churchill Downs in October 2011, Unbridleds Note has a decent stamina pedigree (although he might like grass better mark that down for later) and if he can get a clean break he should be able to sit just off the speed in the Rebel and take a piece late.
Unbridleds Note also gets a rider switch to Channing Hill, who rode fellow Rebel entrant Cyber Secret in his last. Cyber Secret had a decent trip outside and back of Secret Circle in the Southwest and lacked a late punch. Were thinking Hill made the right choice to ride Unbridleds Secret for sharp trainer Steve Asmussen. Cyber Secret will be ridden by Robby Albarado, who is more than capable.
Sabercat, also trained by Steve Asmussen, makes his first start since a romping win in the Delta Downs Jackpot-G3 on November 19, and while he likely wont be cranked up for this one he has been training well and Corey Nakatani has seen enough to take the mount. Sabercat has won three in a row, there are a few classy horses in his running lines and with a smart ride from the third flight he could make a late run into the money.
We pickedJake Moas a longshot in the first division of the Southwest Stakes and he came through for us with a second place finish at 22-1. He got a decent trip in that race, which was a full second slower than the second division of the Southwest that Secret Circle won, but he was also making only his second start off the layoff and could improve again here. He just gives the impression of a grinder who will keep coming late if he can work out a similar trip to his last.
Najjaaris another who could make a late run from well back. Hes won two in a row and makes his second start off a 6-week layoff for trainer Daniel Peitz. In his last he rallied to take a $47,000 NX1 allowance at Oaklawn Park going a mile and a sixteenth, and while these are much tougher, he could rally to pass the tiring chasers late at a nice price.
A few more to throw into the Rebel Superfecta?
Adirondack Kingfinished third beaten six lengths in Secret Circles Southwest Stakes win and ran a much improved Beyer Speed Figure in that race while making his second start off a two-month layoff. He now makes his third start off the layoff and could improve again to get into the money here, but we cant see him getting by the top pair.Atigunmakes his first start off a 2-month layoff after winning a mile and a sixteenth optional claiming N1X allowance race at Oaklawn Park as the favorite and could also slip into the superfecta at big odds with a perfect trip.