2018 Rebel Stakes Preview: Solomini Is Horse to Beat

Kevin Stott

Thursday, March 15, 2018 1:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 15, 2018 1:56 PM UTC

The Road To The Kentucky Derby trots on from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Saturday with the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, where super-trainer Bob Baffert will try to make it seven wins in this race with his favorite, Solomini, going up against 10 other talented thoroughbreds.

Rebel Stakes Biggest Derby Prep Race This Weekend

The biggest Prep race on The Road To The Kentucky Derby this coming weekend is the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2), set to be held at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas on Saturday (TVG, 6:30 pm ET). The 1 and 1/16th-mile race is the second leg of the 3-year-old stakes program at historic Oaklawn Park Race Track with the other two legs the Southwest Stakes (G3) and the Arkansas Derby (G1), the latter to be held on April 14 and one of the “Super Six” Kentucky Derby Prep races.

The Bob Baffert-trained Solomini (14/1 to win Kentucky Derby, Bovada) will likely be the favorite in the Rebel Stakes, which will include several Derby hopefuls like the Todd Pletcher-trained Magnum Moon (40/1 to win Kentucky Derby), untested as a 2-year-old but undefeated in two starts this year, Grade 3 Southwest Stakes runner-up Combatant (50/1 to win Kentucky Derby) as well as 3rd-place finisher Sporting Chance (40/1 to win Kentucky Derby).

Baffert has won a record six Rebel Stakes, including with Lookin At Lucky in 2010, Hoppertunity in 2014, American Pharoah in 2015 and Cupid in 2016. American Pharoah, ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, won The Run For The Roses in 2015 as well as the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978 (Any Horse Wins 2018 Triple Crown +575, No 2018 Triple Crown Winner -850, 5Dimes). The Draw for the Rebel Stakes — won last year by the Pletcher-trained Malagacy (1:43:00) — was held on Wednesday and 11 thoroughbreds were entered.

Rebel Stakes Post Positions & Jockeys
  • 1—Title Ready (Jose Ortiz)
  • 2—Curlin’s Honor (Florent Giroux)
  • 3—Solomini (Flavien Prat)
  • 4—Magnum Moon (Luis Saez)
  • 5—Higher Power (Richard Eramia)
  • 6—Pryor (Robby Albarado)
  • 7—Sporting Chance (John Velazquez)
  • 8—High North (Gary Stevens)
  • 9—Zing Zang (Corey Lanerie)
  • 10—Combatant (Ricardo Santana, Jr.)
  • 11—Bode’s Maker (Jareth Loveberry)

So Solomini, 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and FrontRunner Stakes last year and DQ’d from winning the Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (G1) in his last start, will begin from the No. 3 spot, with Derby hopefuls Magnum Moon drawing the No. 4 post, Higher Power in the No. 5 and Sporting Chance getting the No. 7 spot, meaning there could be some jostling in the middle early on with the jockeys of these horses probably more than willing to let another horse set the pace at the beginning of the race. Even though none of the “Super Six” Kentucky Derby prep races have yet to be run, this is a huge race for the hopefuls. The favorite has won 4 of the L10 Rebel Stakes, with 3 race chalks finishing in 2nd over that span.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

Feel the rush of these thoroughbreds en route to the Triple Crown. Rebel Stakes returns to @OaklawnRacing on March 17. #VisitArkansas https://t.co/m12Q81CctP pic.twitter.com/czjbOuJqeE

— Arkansas Tourism (@artourism) March 11, 2018
\n\n"}[/]

The latest Kentucky Derby Media Poll has San Felipe Stakes winner Bolt d’Oro (+700 to win Kentucky Derby) at #1, last week’s #1 McKinzie (+1000 to win Kentucky Derby) now at #2 with Good Magic (+1400 to win Kentucky Derby) currently at #3. The Zayat Stables-owned Solomini (by Curlin and out of Storm Cat mare Surf Song) may crack the Top 3 with a convincing win at the Rebel Stakes.

Rebel Stakes Free Pick: Magnum Moon (4) to ShowRebel Stakes Superfecta Pick: 3-4-7-5Best Lines Offered: Bovada
comment here