One Of The Strongest Fields Comes Together For Saturday’s Expanded Rebel Stakes

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 2:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019 2:37 PM UTC

The 2019 Kentucky Derby Trail pulls into Oaklawn Park in Arkansas this Saturday for the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes as the first seven-figure prize purse on the prep race schedule.

<p>Dangerous track conditions continue to plague famed Santa Anita Park with the cancellation of all races. That West Coast track’s loss is Oaklawn Park’s gain with a deep and talented field lining up to take aim at the top prize in this Saturday’s Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. Contested on the dirt track at Oaklawn over a distance of 1 1/16 miles, the total price purse for the main event on the card is the richest of the season to date.</p><h2><strong>Tracking the Top Contenders</strong></h2><p>Two of famed trainer Bob Baffert’s best Kentucky Derby contenders were scheduled to square off against one another last Saturday in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. With that race postponed, he plans to run both <strong>Game Winner</strong> and <strong>Improbable</strong> in the Rebel. While the large field is far from set, this could finally set up the head-to-head matchup all horse bettors have been waiting for in each colt’s highly anticipated three-year old debut.</p><p>The last time we saw Game Winner competing on the track he was coming away with a victory in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. This was on his way to winning horse of the year honors as a two-year old. This Kentucky-bred colt has raced like a champion since he won a six-furlong Maiden Special Weight event at Del Mar on Aug. 18. He also posted victories in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs and the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 29 at a distance of 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.</p><p>Sired by Candy Ride, he will put his undefeated record on the line with the highest Horse Racing Nation rating in the projected field at 8.40. Game Winner would widen his lead on the field as the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/" target="_blank" title="SBR's Live Betting Odds Board">early favorite </a>to win the 2019 Kentucky Derby with a win this Saturday.</p><p>Baffert’s other top Kentucky-bred colt has the second-highest HRN rating among the probable entries at 8.31. His last time around the track resulted in a first-place finish in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos at that race track on Dec. 8. He covered the 1 1/16 miles on dirt in a blazing 1:41.18 past Mucho Gusto and Extra Hope. Prior to that, Improbable won a six-furlong Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita followed by a victory in the one-mile ungraded Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2.</p><p>This son of City Zip basically has everything to gain and little to lose if the head-to-head matchup against Game Winner does materialize this Saturday at Oaklawn. He has already proven that he can run with the best and win as a top juvenile.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"pt\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;The Rebel Stakes has a purse of $1M &amp;amp; offers 85 &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/KentuckyDerby?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@KentuckyDerby&lt;/a&gt; qualifying points, awarded 50-20-10-5 basis to the top four finishers. However, if race is split, each division will carry a $750,000 purse &amp;amp; 63.75 total points. Learn more here: &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/DlezpC4zYZ\"&gt;https://t.co/DlezpC4zYZ&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/ABRLive?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@ABRLive&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— StableDuel (@StableDuel) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/StableDuel/status/1105558084372574208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;12 de março de 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><strong>One to Watch</strong></h2><p>The final field for the 2019 Rebel Stakes could actually result in twin divisions given just how long the list of probable entries currently is. All the top trainers in the country could have some skin in the game on Saturday, including Steve Asmussen’s <strong>Long Range Toddy</strong>, who is counting on his home-track advantage to compete against the heavy hitters in the field.</p><p>This three-year old Kentucky-bred colt is much further down the list with a 6.12 HRN rating, but <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/more-sports/" target="_blank" title="More Sports Picks &amp; Predictions">his past success on the dirt of Saturday’s track could give him an inside edge</a>. He made his three-year old debut on Jan. 25 with a second-place finish in the ungraded Smarty Jones Stakes ahead of a third-place run in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on Feb. 18 over a distance of 1 1/16 miles. He won two ungraded stakes races as a juvenile, including the Remington Springboard Mile on Dec. 16. The pedigree of Take Charge Indy has a bloodline that can be traced back to Seattle Slew.</p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/" target="_blank" title="SBR Betting Forum">Talk Sports on SBR' Sports Betting Forum</a></h2>
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