Rebel Stakes (Oaklawn Park) Predictions, Odds & Picks
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Caddo River (2/1)
Rebel Stakes Post Position and Odds
Check out our predictions and odds for the 2021 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park!
|F Geroux||B Cox|
|R Santana Jr||S Asmussen|
|M Garcia||B Baffert|
|4||GET HER NUMBER||6/1|
|J Castellano||P Miller|
|B Hernandez Jr||J Sharp|
|D Cohen||R Diodoro|
|J Rosario||B Baffert|
|J Talamo||S Asmussen|
Best Bets for the Rebel Stakes
Here are my plays ($40 in total)
$20 Exacta – Caddo River over Concert Tour = $20
$10 Exacta – Concert Tour over Caddo River = $10
$10 Exacta – Caddo River over Keepmeinmind = $10
Caddo River (2/1)
The road to the Kentucky Derby through Arkansas continues on Saturday at Oaklawn Park, as Caddo River and Concert Tour headline a strong field of eight 3-year-olds gunning for the top prize in the $1 million Rebel Stakes.
Trained by Brad Cox, Caddo River comes into the key Grade 2 affair off of two romping victories. The son of 2007 Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun began his career with a pair of solid second-place finishes in New York before exploding onto the Derby trail with a dominant victory at Churchill Downs in his third career outing. The 9 1/2-length maiden race domination was followed by an equally easy 10 ¼-length score in the one-mile Smarty Jones Stakes on January 22 at Oaklawn Park.
Despite Caddo River’s recent domination, he is not sure to be favored on Saturday. That’s because Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has shipped in Concert Tour for the Rebel. Perfect in two starts, the Street Sense colt has won both of his races this year at Santa Anita, including an impressive maiden victory and a determined score in the Grade 2 San Vicente most recently.
Of the rest, Keepmeinmind, the winner of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November, and Get Her Number, the winner of the Grade 1 American Pharoah in September, figure to get the most support.
Contested at 1 1/16-miles, the Rebel will offer Kentucky Derby qualifying points of 50-20-10-5, respectively, to the top four finishers.
How to Watch the Rebel Stakes
|Rebel Stakes Information|
|What||Rebel Stakes (Grade 2)|
|When||Saturday, March 13 — 5:16 pm Central time|
|How to Watch||TVG|
The Brad Cox barn has another good one in this son of Hard Spun. After two good efforts in second-place finishes at Saratoga and Belmont, against some talented horses, he has hooked up with rider Florent Geroux in his last two, and the pair has been untouchable. He looked the part of a top horse in that maiden romp last fall at Churchill Downs and then validated it with a dismantling of the Smarty Jones field, including Cowan, who has run nothing but good races in his career. Things only get tougher in the Rebel, but of his last two, I like his chances to prove himself a true Kentucky Derby contender on Saturday. There is some other speed in here, but breaking from the rail, Caddo River is the one they will all have to beat. He is the top pick.
The Bob Baffert train visits Oaklawn Park, as it does each year, with two entrants for the Rebel. While the other may be a work in progress, this son of Street Sense looks to be a major threat. He didn’t run at 2 but looked good in winning his debut in January. He followed that up as a heavy favorite in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita five weeks ago and came home on top with a late surge which carried him to a half-length victory. This will be his first try around two turns, but the pedigree says he should only get better with added distance. The horse he beat last time came back with a less than great effort in the Gotham, so improvement will be needed on Saturday, but all signs point to that happening. He is the top threat to the Caddo River.
He announced himself as a top juvenile with a pair of rallying performances behind champion Essential Quality when second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity and then third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile while still a maiden. That good form was validated with a solid win in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club to close out his 2-year-old campaign. He has not run since, so he will be working off a layoff of nearly four months. It’s a tough spot to return, but the good news is that it appears the pace will be solid and contested, giving him a better chance to pick up horses late. While I don’t like him for the top spot, I do expect him to be rallying well down the stretch.
Get Her Number
After two good races on the turf to begin his career, this colt trained by Peter Miller was a game-winner of the Grade 1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita. That win, though, was way back on September 26. Away from the races for nearly six months, he will clearly need to come back with his running shoes on if he is to win this million-dollar race. Talented, and possessing good tactical speed, if he comes back at his best, he can make some noise, but with the other good speed in here, I will wait and see what he does here before getting too excited about him as a Kentucky Derby contender.
The first of two from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, this son of Dialed In broke his maiden third time out in a stakes race at Lone Star last summer before taking on graded stakes company up in Kentucky in his next two starts. A pair of thirds, including behind Essential Quality in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity, was followed by a game second in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs. He’s clearly a hard tryer who has plenty of stakes experience, so he cannot be completely dismissed, but things only get tougher in this one for a horse yet unable to prove he can beat graded stakes caliber horses.
The other Baffert entrant has also only made two career starts and the first actually came against his stablemate. Concert Tour was preferred in their respective debuts and finished 14 lengths better than this son of Pioneer of the Nile. Showing marked improvement for start number two, he broke his maiden when stretched out to 8 ½ furlongs on February 15. The horse he beat that day has been a disappointment, but still, the move forward was noteworthy. Another move forward would make him a threat in here, but more than likely the Rebel will prove a little more than he can handle at this stage of his career.
The second Asmussen runner is an interesting longshot. The son of American Pharoah is bred to go a distance, and after two losing efforts sprinting last year, he is 2-for-2 around two turns this year. Those wins came in maiden and allowance company at Fair Grounds, so the level of competition goes way up on Saturday. Still, there is enough potential and improvement there to believe he could be a horse with graded stakes potential. I do like others better, but he could be worth throwing into the exotics at attractive odds.
The good for this Joe Sharp trained son of Air Force Blue is that he does come in off a win over the track and at the same distance as the Rebel will be run. Unfortunately, the game victory in allowance company is likely not enough to put a scare in the top performers here. You could do worse with as big longshots go, as he does have a consistent form on the dirt, but this spot does look a bit over his head.
More Horse Racing Predictions & Odds
Useful Betting Guides
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]