Rebel Stakes Predictions, Odds, Picks (Oaklawn Park)
Rebel Stakes Post Position and Odds
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|F Arrieta||C Hartman|
|J Velasquez||B Baffert|
|G Franco||S Asmussen|
|4||UN OJO||15/1 |
|R A Vasquez||R Courville|
|5||TEXAS RED HOT||20/1 |
|R Santana Jr||R Morse|
|6||STELLAR TAP||12/1 |
|C Torres||S Asmussen|
|7||BEN DIESEL||10/1 |
|J Court||D Stewart|
|8||CHASING TIME||7/2 |
|T Gaffalione||S Asmussen|
|9||BARBER ROD||6/1 |
|R Gutierrez||J Ortiz|
|10||ETHEREAL ROAD||8/1 |
|L Contreras||D W Lukas|
|11||DASH ATTACK||10/1 |
|D Cohen||K McPeek|
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Best Bets for the Rebel Stakes
Here are my plays ($60 in total)
$5 Exacta Part Wheel – Newgrange and Ethereal Road over Chasing Time, Barber Road and Stellar Tap = $30
$3 Exacta Part Wheel – Chasing Time, Barber Road and Stellar Tap over Newgrange and Ethereal Road = $18
$6 Exacta Box – Newgrange and Ethereal Road = $12
If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Newgrange (5/2)
Unbeaten in three career starts, Newgrange will take another step on the Triple Crown trail when he tops a field of 11 set for Saturday’s $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
The Kentucky Derby might not be the major spring destination for the son of Violence, as his trainer Bob Baffert is currently banned, but regardless another graded stakes win would move among the leaders of the 3-year-old male division. A debut winner in his only start at 2, Newgrange has scored convincing scores in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park already this year.
Chief among his competition is the well-backed, Chasing Time. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the son of hot young sire Not This Time is coming off a 7 3/4-length victory in a local allowance race while trying two turns for the first time. Steadily improving, he has been sent off as the favorite in each of his five career races and has not done worse than second in the last four.
Another who should get plenty of support in the Grade 2 feature at Oaklawn Park, is the John Ortiz-trained Barber Road. After winning nicely in his second and third career stats, the Race Day colt has rallied to finish runner-up in three consecutive stakes races. The best of those efforts came last time when he closed strongly to be second behind Newgrange in the Southwest.
A Kentucky Derby qualifying race, the Rebel will offer points on a scale of 50-20-10-5 to all horses other than Newgrange, who is trained by Baffert.
Looking forward to a HUGE weekend of racing, fun & on-site giveaways. . .
Join us Fri-Sun, with the $1,000,000 (G2) Rebel Stakes on Saturday. #Oaklawn
— Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort (@OaklawnRacing) February 22, 2022
Rebel Stakes Predictions
After a good debut win sprinting at Del Mar, this son of Violence has proven to be for real with consecutive graded stakes scores to begin his sophomore season. He has good tactical speed and can win on the lead or pass horses if he needs to in the stretch. He also has a good win over the track, which came in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes four weeks ago. In other words, there is a lot to like about the Bob Baffert-trained runner. Drawn towards the inside, he will need to work out a good trip in the big field, but Hall of Fame rider John Velasquez is a master of knowing how much horse to use heading into the first turn to get prime position. He is the horse to beat and the top pick.
Like the morning line favorite, this one comes off a nice win over the track at Oaklawn Park. His win came in an allowance race, but it’s certainly worth noting that it came in his first try around two turns, after running in sprints in his first four races. The combination of the sharp win over the racing strip, plus the fact that he looked like a horse wanting more distance, makes him a very interesting candidate on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a My Racehorse Partnership owned horse, it looks like the betting value may not be there for one of the most popular 3-year-olds in the nation. Still, he is clearly a real threat in his first-stakes appearance.
This son of Race Day was never going to get to Newgrange in the Southwest but still looked good running strongly down the middle of the track. In fact, he has looked good in five consecutive races now, with the last one probably being the best yet. The problem is that he will have to face the horse who just beat him last time, and also a deeper overall field in this one. It’s possible that he can turn the tables, as he makes his third consecutive stakes start at Oaklawn Park, but once again I like Newgrange a little better in this spot.
Another horse coming off a solid win at Oaklawn Park, his victory came against the maiden company. Trained by the old master D. Wayne Lukas, this son of Quality Road has improved in each of his four starts and was visually impressive in the maiden win, which came on the same afternoon as the Southwest. He ran a second slower than Newgrange but actually finished faster with his big late kick. It’s a tough jump from maidens to a million-dollar race, but his improvement has been steady enough to believe he is in with a fighting chance. If the pace is fast enough, he becomes a dangerous late runner.
This son of Munnings was unbeaten going into the Southwest, but was unable to kick in a rally in his first try on a fast track. All three of his career starts have come at Oaklawn Park, where he won a maiden race on a good main track, before rallying to victory in the Smarty Jones. Backed at 3/1 last time, it was a disappointing effort, leaving us to wonder if it was primarily the sloppy track of the Smarty Jones that carried him home. In the capable hands of Kenny McPeek, he is certainly eligible to bounce back with a better effort this time, but after his failure last time, I am not going to jump on in an even tougher spot this time.
Trained by Dallas Stewart, this son of Will Take Charge was right there in mid-stretch of the Southwest, but could not keep up with the late speed of both Newgrange and Barber Road. The Dallas Stewart-trainee seems like a hard-tryer, who has just come up a little short in stakes tries since a nice debut win at Churchill Downs on Halloween. Once again, he will be in with a shot, but will need to take a step forward if he is to beat the horses who just defeated him last time. I can’t throw him out, but I can’t find a good reason why he will turn the tables this time either.
A very impressive winner of his debut last August at Saratoga, he has not lived up to that performance in three subsequent tries against winners. Thrown into tough spots after the initial victory, the well bred son of Tapit was involved early, but faded late in both the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall. Given a little break, he returned last month in a Fair Grounds allowance and finished third behind Pioneer of Medina, who came back to run well in the Grade 2 Risen Star. He will need to improve off the last, but he certainly could second off the layoff for trainer Steve Asmussen. He is one of the more interesting horses in the field.
A rallying second last time in the Grade 3 Withers, this New York-bred son of Laoban likes to come with a big late run. After breaking his maiden at Delta Downs in his second career start, he has faced stakes competition in his last three and continues to improve as the races get tougher. Having said that, his second last time did not get him close to the impressive winner Early Voting, and Saturday promises to be his toughest test yet. He will be a long shot again, and he is not one of the horses I like best, but he is certainly eligible to pick up the pieces late to get himself into the exotics.
This experienced son of Lea has already competed in eight stakes races. His lone win in that company came three starts ago in the listed Advent Stakes at Oaklawn Park, which was at 6 furlongs. Since stretching out, he has finished fourth in both the Smarty Jones and the Southwest. In both races, he led in the stretch but faded late. There is good reason to believe he can be an early factor once again, but things will not get easier on Saturday. I don’t like his chances to fare any better in the final furlong of the Rebel.
Texas Red Hot
A son of Texas Red, he won 2-of-5 starts as a juvenile and will be making his first start as a 3-year-old on Saturday. His wins in maiden and allowance company were pretty solid, but in two-stakes tries he was unable to make an impression. He comes out of a particularly strong edition of the Kentucky Jockey Club, but was never a factor there. There are too many others in here that I like better.
The third from the Asmussen barn, this son of Cairo Prince was a debut winner at Belmont Park back in September but has not made a strong showing in three subsequent stake races. In his last start, he broke a step slow and was way back early in the Smarty Jones. He did make up some ground in the slop, but could only manage a mid-pack finish behind Dash Attack as a big long shot. His three tries in stakes company are not good enough to get excited about his chances against this field.
How to Watch the Rebel Stakes
|Rebel Stakes Race Information|
|What||Rebel Stakes (Grade 2)|
|Time||Saturday, February 26 — 6:22pm Eastern time|
|How to Watch||TVG|
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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.
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