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Rebel Stakes: Reincarnate Tops a Contentious Field of 11

Written by: Brian Zipse
Updated February 22, 2023
15 min read

Rebel Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park!










F Geroux

B Cox





I Castillo

S Asmussen





C Torres

S Asmussen





R Santana Jr

S Asmussen





I Ortiz Jr

B Cox





J Velazquez

T Yakteen





J Graham

J K Desormeaux





F Prat

R Brisset





C Corrales

P Lobo





M Michel

D W Lukas





F Arrieta

K McPeek

*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Rebel Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Red Route One and Giant Mischief over Red Route One, Giant Mischief, Verifying, and Reincarnate = $60

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Red Route One (8/1).    



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Rebel Stakes Predictions

Transferred from trainer Bob Baffert to Tim Yakteen in hopes of collecting Kentucky Derby qualifying points, Reincarnate tops a contentious field of 11 set for Saturday's $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

After three consecutive second-place finishes, two of which came on the grass, to begin his career, the son of Good Magic broke through with a wire-to-wire maiden victory at Del Mar to close out his juvenile season.

In his first start this season, Reincarnate was a game-winner of the Grade 3 Sham Stakes last out at Santa Anita. He will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez on Saturday.

Chief among his opposition in the Grade 2 Rebel will be a pair of highly regarded colts from the barn of Brad Cox.

Giant Mischief was a good looking winner of his first two career starts before finishing a troubled second in the Remington Springboard Mile in his most recent start, ten weeks ago.

Verifying, meanwhile, was a debut winner at Saratoga before finishing second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and sixth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Most recently, he rolled to an easy allowance victory over the Oaklawn Park track.

As a Kentucky Derby trail race, the 1 1/16-mile Southwest will offer qualifying points on a scale of 50-20-15-10-5 to the top five finishers.

Rebel Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis


After three solid efforts without winning to begin his career, this son of Good Magic has put things together in his last two starts. In both the maiden victory at Del Mar and the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, he looked like a horse heading in the right direction. 

There is every reason to believe that he will run another solid race as he ships into Arkansas for new trainer Tim Yakteen. The one negative for him in this spot is the amount of early speed signed on here. 

Given a very contested early pace on paper, it should only make his chances of winning that much more difficult here in a pretty deep field. He’s an obvious threat, but I like horses coming from behind best in the Rebel.

Giant Mischief

One of two very promising colts for trainer Brad Cox in the Rebel, this son of Into Mischief has done little wrong so far in his three race career. 

After a solid victory to begin his career going 5 1/2-furlongs at Horseshoe Indianapolis, he defeated a loaded allowance field on Breeders’ Cup weekend at Keeneland. Stretched out for the Springboard Mile, he encountered plenty of trouble on his way to a runner-up finish. 

Freshened just a bit since, he should be ready for this test. He also should appreciate all the speed here, as he can certainly pass horses. He has a big shot on Saturday, and just might be the one to beat.


Another who likes to do his running on or near the early lead, the other Brad Cox-trained runner is one of three who could vie for favoritism on Saturday. His allowance win six weeks ago over the track points him out as a major contender. 

Breaking from the rail, though, in this big field could be tricky. In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, a poor start seriously hindered his chances. He could face a similar issue here. If he doesn’t break well from his inside post, he could quickly get shuffled back. 

On the other hand, going too fast out of the gate also could be tough in this expected fast pace. Still, he is a talented colt who could win the whole thing if things go his way.



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Red Route One

While it’s true that this son of Gun Runner was beaten 5 1/2 lengths last time in the Grade 3 Southwest, it came when a rallying second behind the very highly regarded Arabian Knight. 

The late runner could enjoy a different scenario this time around for trainer Steve Asmussen. With numerous runners entered here who like to be on or near the lead, it should set up his strong finish well.

With solid graded stakes experience, a good race over the track, and a favorable pace scenario, he should be ready to fire a solid shot on Saturday. Likely to offer solid value once again, he is the top pick.

Gun Pilot

Another son of Gun Runner from the barn of Steve Asmussen, this one will be making his stakes debut on Saturday. Like many in the field, he has displayed good early speed in winning two of his first three career starts. 

Often early speed is a plus, but too much of a good thing could spell trouble for all of them contesting the early lead. 

He will also need to overcome a sound defeat he received at the hands of Verifying two starts back. He looks to be on the improve, and to be a horse with a future, but I like others better here.

Confidence Game

One of the more interesting longshots in this field, this Keith Desormeaux-trained runner comes into the Rebel off a third-place finish behind Instant Coffee in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds. 

Having finished in the top three in 5-of-6 career starts, it was another solid effort for the son of Candy Ride. 

He clearly deserves a shot in here, but his best performances have come when on or near the early lead. With the race set-up on paper clearly favoring horses who can rally, this looks like a tough spot for him.


The third of three trained by Steve Asmussen, this son of Nyquist looks to add the strong early pace expected to unfold in the Rebel. 

Twice a winner in four starts last year, and both of his victories came while right on the early pace in sprints. His one try going two turns ended poorly for him in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity. 

The stakes winner clearly has some talent, but there just looks to be too much pace pressure to expect him to be strong down the stretch in his sophomore debut.


After not doing a whole heck of a lot in his first three starts, this son of Into Mischief seemed to appreciate the wet fast track last time at Oaklawn Park and led all the way around to break his maiden. 

A win over the track is always a plus, but there didn’t seem to be too much in there. Flavien Prat sticks around to ride him again on Saturday, but the stakes and competition are significantly greater in this one. 

With all the horses with the better form above him, I find it hard to pick him out as a serious contender in this spot.

Frosted Departure

The most experienced horse in the field, this son of Frosted has won 3-of-10 career starts. 

Sent off at big 46/1 odds last time for trainer Kenny McPeek, he stalked the early pace and stayed on reasonably well to finish two lengths behind Red Route One, when third in the Southwest. 

This field only looks that much deeper, and with plenty of early speed in here, I find it hard to like his chances on Saturday.

Bourbon Bash

Only once a winner in eight-lifetime starts, this D. Wayne Lukas-trained runner looks to be a deserving longshot in the Rebel. 

While his two recent starts at Oaklawn Park are decent, he has been beaten by Powerful, Frosted Departure, and Gun Pilot in each of his last three starts, and none of them are among my top picks here. 

I like too many others better here to give this City of Light strong consideration on Saturday.

Event Detail

Improving with each start, this son of City of Light has earned the right to test the waters of stakes competition. 

After a non-threatening debut at Churchill Downs, he stretched out to run two solid miles at Turfway Park. In the last one, he easily won in a 12-horse field for trainer Paulo Lobo. 

Having said all that, the jump from beating maidens on the Turfway’s all-weather track to the million-dollar Rebel is huge. For that reason, I cannot recommend him on Saturday.



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How to Watch the Rebel Stakes

  • What: Rebel Stakes (Grade 2)
  • Location: Oaklawn Park
  • Time: Saturday, February 25 -- 6:23 pm Eastern time
  • How to Watch: FanDuel TV
  • Purse: $1,000,000

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Image for Brian Zipse


Brian Zipse

294 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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