Last week saw three solid performances and two new contenders in Danzing Candy (Derby) and Terra Promessa (Oaks). If you missed any of the action, check last week’s edition for replays, links to recaps/post-race analysis and Brisnet charts.
Looking for an easy way to view Brisnet charts for all of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks points races? Be sure to check our schedule pages. We’ve also listed Beyer, Brisnet, Equibase and TimeformUS speed figures for each race.
News About the Contenders
Blood-Horse: California Invaders in for Fair Grounds Oaks
Blood-Horse: LA Derby: Gun Runner Faces Greenpointcrusader
DRF: Watchmaker: Despite flaws, Cupid displays great talent
Blood-Horse: Mohaymen ‘Like a Ferrari’ in Friday Workout
Blood-Horse: Nyquist, Beholder Drill at Santa Anita
Blood-Horse: Land Over Sea Headed to Fair Grounds Oaks
Blood-Horse: Fellowship On Target for Florida Derby
Blood-Horse: Haskin’s Derby Dozen – March 15
DRF: Derby Watch: Suddenbreakingnews making headlines
DRF: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not March 16
TDN: Mohaymen Holding His Form
TDN: Airoforce May be Back on Derby Trail
TDN: Cathryn Sophia Bluegrass Bound
TDN: Pedigree Insights: Danzing Candy
Twinspires: Fellowship headed to Florida Derby, Awesome Banner returns to sprints
Twinspires: Kentucky Derby Report: Danzing Candy impresses with speed, Destin makes it two straight
Oaklawn Park, Saturday March 19, post time: 7:06 pm ET
1 1/16 miles (8.5 furlongs)
2016 Rebel Replay
2016 Rebel News & Recaps
Blood-Horse: Baffert Claims Another Rebel Win with Cupid
DRF: Cupid gives Baffert sixth Rebel Stakes victory
TDN: Tapit’s Cupid Gives Baffert Another Rebel
Twinspires: Cupid gives Baffert sixth win in Rebel
2016 Rebel Preview
The Rebel Stakes has a rich, 55-year history filled with eventual champions and classic winners, especially over the past 12 years, when this prep for the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby has gone from an ungraded $200,000 race in 2004 to a Grade 2 $900,000 race with 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying points this year
From Smarty Jones in 2004 to American Pharoah last year, the past 12 editions of the Rebel have produced four classic winners, six champions, two Horses of the Year, and the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
Given that this year’s top Kentucky Derby contenders—the undefeated champion Nyquist and multiple stakes winner Mohaymen—will contest the Grade 1 Florida Derby on April 2 at Gulfstream Park, where the top performers from this year’s Rebel will rank is more likely to be determined by what happens in their next two races than this one.
Still, with 14 horses entered into the Rebel, the winner will have earned his 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
And one horse who earned points last time out was Suddenbreakingnews, who produced a last-to-first blitz to win the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes going away by 2 3/4 lengths. The win turned the tables on Discreetness, who had beaten Suddenbreakingnews by a nose in the Springboard Mile to close out their 2-year-old seasons before going on to win the Smarty Jones Stakes in his 3-year-old debut.
Discreetness returns here for round 3 with Suddenbreakingnews, and he is in post four this time after drawing post 14 of 14 last time. Suddenbreakingnews is in post 14 for the Rebel, but given his closing style, that is less likely to impede his best effort, whereas Discreetness being eight-wide early in the Southwest hampered his best chance. Suddenbreakingnews has never finished worse than second in six starts.
While the aforementioned pair has won the local 3-year-old stakes, the most accomplished Rebel entrant (and only other stakes winner) is Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes winner Ralis, who has not raced since finishing last of 14 in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Ralis is based at Santa Anita Park with trainer Doug O’Neill, but he’s already shown an ability to ship east, having done so when winning the Hopeful at Saratoga after racing at Santa Anita, Los Alamitos, and Del Mar in Southern California. Considering his inside post, the layoff, and a lack of brilliant speed in the bulky field, expect to see Ralis on the front end early.
Whether anyone will be with Ralis on the front end or in front of him is anyone’s guess. None of the 14 Rebel entrants has won a race gate-to-wire, and only American Dubai, Gray Sky, Siding Spring, and Z Royal have ever even made the lead early in a race; those four have all already been defeated by Suddenbreakingnews or Discreetness, as American Dubai (3rd), Siding Spring (5th), and Z Royal (8th) ran in the Southwest, and Gray Sky was fifth in the Smarty Jones.
A new name to the Oaklawn scene with familiar connections is Cupid, who won the first race of his career in this third try on February 7 at Santa Anita and ships to Oaklawn for his stakes debut for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has won five of the past six Rebels, including last year’s with American Pharoah.
Cupid registered a 97 Brisnet Speed Rating for his maiden win, which tops this field—particularly notable because the best last-out Brisnet Speed Rating has won 40% of the two-turn 3-year-old stakes races from 2012 to 2016 at Oaklawn.
American Dubai (145-1), Cupid (36-1), and Suddenbreakingnews (14-1) were three of the four Rebel entrants individually listed in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3. The other, Whitmore at 43-1, was runner-up to Suddenbreakingnews in the Southwest and gets a rider change to the New York-based Irad Ortiz Jr., the leading jockey by earnings this year who has already won Triple Crown prep races aboard Flexibility in the Jerome and Shagaf in the Gotham (both at Aqueduct).
Rounding out the field is Cherry Wine, Creator, Cutacorner, Madtap, and Spikes Shirl.
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