Nine Things to Know About the 2020 Rebel Stakes

Omaha Beach (right) outfinished champion Game Winner to win the second division of the Rebel Stakes in 2019. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve winds through Arkansas this weekend as a competitive group of 3-year-olds lines up for a lucrative edition of the Rebel Stakes.

Read on for nine fun facts about Saturday’s race at Oaklawn Park.

1. The Rebel was first contested in 1961, making this year the 60th edition.

American Pharoah in 2015. (Eclipse Sportswire)

2. In the last 11 runnings, the winner has gone off at odds greater than 4-1 just three times. Will Take Charge was the biggest price to win in that timeframe at odds of 28-1.

3. This year’s Rebel features a purse of $1 million, equal to that of the April 11 Arkansas Derby for which the Rebel is a prep race. The Rebel winner will take home 60% of that purse, amounting to a $600,000 top prize.

4. Eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah launched his 3-year-old season in the 2015 Rebel, winning by an impressive 6 ¼ lengths.

5. The betting favorite has finished in the top two eight times since 2010, but just half of those were wins.  

6. Last year’s race was the first edition of the Rebel to have two winners. It was split into two races due to a surplus of entries, with Omaha Beach and Long Range Toddy each winning a division.

7. Three Rebel runners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, and all three won both races: American Pharoah, Smarty Jones (2004), and Sunny’s Halo (1983).

8. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has a record six wins in the race, most recently with Cupid in 2016. He has trained nine of the last 11 betting favorites. This year he brings Nadal to the race.

9. The Rebel offers 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for the top four finishers, including 50 for the winner. A 50-point total has been more than enough to secure a spot in the Derby starting gate each year since 2013.


newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!