Kentucky Derby Prep – Rebel Stakes Handicapping
Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas is the only Kentucky Derby Prep race running on one of my favorite days of the year, St. Patrick’s Day. Bob Baffert is shipping in #8 Secret Circle who won the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn last month and will surely be the key speed horse again in this race after beating #3 Scatman last time out. Make a note that Baffert also shipped in The Factor and more notably Looking at Lucky to the Rebel in the past two years and favors this Kentucky Derby Prep with his horses for the Derby at Churchill Downs.
The main difference between the Southwest or Smarty Jones and the Rebel Stakes is going to be the distance as the Southwest was 1 Mile and the Rebel is 1 1/16 miles, that’s 110 yards of extra distance to cover. Does this mean that Najjaar who likes to come from the back of the pack and has Calvin Borel on board might be a horse to watch after going from 9th to 1st his last time out at Oaklawn?
Maybe it will be Sabercat trained by Steve Asmussen and now has jockey Corey Nakatani on board. Note that when Sabercat won the Delta Downs Jackpot last November it was Corey Nakatani that was on board Basmati and finished 2nd to Sabercat. With Nakatani riding Sabercat now it’s tough not to take a real close look at him for the Rebel and the Kentucky Derby.
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Every year Jack McKinney follows the new 2 year olds on the scene through the Breeder’s Cup as maturing 3 year olds.
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