2020 Rebel Stakes at a Glance

Racing
Racing at Oaklawn Park. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Saturday’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park is basically a prep for a prep, as it’s a stepping stone to the April 11 Arkansas Derby which is a bridge to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 2. It’s also just a Grade 2 stakes, but with a purse of $1 million, the 1 1/16-mile Rebel has attracted a strong and balanced field that should make it one of the more important preps of the year.

Rebel Stakes (G2)

Racetrack: Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Ark.

Date: March 14

Purse: $1 million

Distance: 1 1/16 miles

Race: 10

Post Time: 6:23 p.m. ET

Televised on: FS2 and TVG

Notable winners: Omaha Beach (2019), American Pharaoh (2015), Hoppertunity (2014), Lookin At Lucky (2010), Curlin (2007), Smarty Jones (2004), Victory Gallop (1998), Pine Bluff (1992), Sunny’s Halo (1983), Temperence Hill (1980).

1. Nadal (5-2): When trainer Bob Baffert sends a horse to Oaklawn Park, gamblers take note. Baffert has won the Rebel six times, and one of them was 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh. Nadal certainly has the credential to give Baffert win No. 7 as he possesses keen early speed. Having the rail is an advantage and the likely battle on the front end between Nadal, No Parole and possibly Basin could decide the outcome.

JOCKEY: Joel Rosario  TRAINER: Bob Baffert

2. Excession (30-1): He’s one of three entrants trained by Steve Asmussen and clearly the weak link. He was eighth and seventh in two stakes since breaking his maiden and it’s unlikely he will fare much better here.

JOCKEY: Tyler Baze TRAINER: Steve Asmussen

3. Basin (3-1): He looked like a major 2-year-old when he won the Runhappy (what else?) Hopeful Stakes for Asmussen. Unfortunately that proved to be his last race at age 2 and this will serve as his 3-year-old debut. He has some talent but he may need a race after six months on the bench.

JOCKEY: Javier Castellano TRAINER: Steve Asmussen

4. Silver Prospector (7-2): The third leg in Asmussen trifecta, he should be the biggest threat. He didn’t fire on a wet track in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn in his 3-year-old debut, but bounced back on a dry track with a one-length victory in the Southwest Stakes. If the pace gets too hot, it will only enhance his chances.

JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana Jr. TRAINER: Steve Asmussen

5. No Parole (8-1): It’s showtime after he demolished Louisiana-breds by 34 lengths in his first three starts. His speed figures are tad below the others and after breezing on the front end in those three romps, he will receive a stiff challenge on front end from Nadal, who may have too much early zip for him.

JOCKEY: Joe Talamo  TRAINER: Tom Amoss

6. Three Technique (7-2): He was a game second in the Smarty Jones and then was given some time off to point for the race. His works indicate he’s on the upswing and his running style says he should be a major threat against these.

JOCKEY: Luis Saez  TRAINER: Jeremiah Englehart

7. Coach Bahe (30-1): Picks a tough spot off a maiden win in mediocre time. He’ll need a lot of help to be a factor here and getting Lasix may not be enough.

JOCKEY: Santo Sanjur  TRAINER: Philip Bauer

8. American Theorem (6-1): He’s also making his 3-year-old debut after closing out with a runner-up finish in the American Pharoah Stakes. Being a son of American Pharoah, it would be a nice touch if he wins, but this is a tough spot to return from a hiatus of nearly six months.

JOCKEY: Tiago Pereira TRAINER: George Papaprodromou

THE PICK: Nadal

LIVE LONGSHOT: American Theorem

SUPERFECTA: 1-6-4-3

 

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