We're looking back at the weekend action including the huge Rebel Day card from Oaklawn featuring two divisions of the Rebel Stakes, Midnight Bisou winning the Azeri, an upset in the Essex, and much more!
Omaha Beach winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography As we head into the final round of Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, now seems like a good time to look back at the 17 North American prep races already run this year and assign a rating to each one. My ratings—based on a scale of 1 to 5—attempt to blend the apparent strength of each race on paper with its potential [...]
Omaha Beach (right) holds off Game Winner (left) in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography It’s been a big year for War Front on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The 17-year-old Claiborne Farm stallion has already made headlines as the sire of two-time graded stakes winner War of Will, and on Saturday, War Front was back in the spotlight again when his son Omaha Beach fought to a valiant victory in the second division of [...]
Omaha Beach winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography It was a sight to behold—two top-class Kentucky Derby candidates flying to the finish line of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, leaving their rivals far, far behind while battling courageously to the wire. Both ran so gallantly, it was a shame there had to be a loser. But when they flashedacross the finish line, it was the up-and-coming Omaha Beach [...]
Long Range Toddy winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography He was favored at 2-5 and ran a good race, but when the real running began in the first division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, the previously undefeated Improbable came up short of expectations and fell to defeat at the hands of Long Range Toddy. Granted, Improbable faced some adversity in the 8.5-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. The [...]
Improbable(Horsephotos.com) Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is after his sixth Kentucky Derby win, and two of his horses are shaping up to give him an outstanding shot at the garland of roses. Both Improbable and Game Winner are slated to race in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes, though they won’t have a chance to face one another. On Wednesday, it was announced the Kentucky Derby prep race would be the first to split off into two separate [...]
What was to have been the $1-million Rebel Stakes with 85 Kentucky Derby points up for grabs is now a pair of $750,000 Rebel Stakes worth 63.75 each, including 37.5 to the winners. And the extra race, money, and points attracted some extra good horses, including a pair of undefeated two-year-olds from Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert making their three-year-old debuts: champion Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Game Winner and Grade 1 winner Improbable. Baffert has won 6 of [...]
It's Friday and we're talking about the Azeri and Essex Stakes at Oaklawn, the Inside Information at Gulfstream, and the latest news out of California. We also welcome in the BARN Jury to discuss their toughest beats.
Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Thanks to the split of the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) into two divisions, Oaklawn Park will be able to offer an exciting all-stakes Pick 4 on March 16 that includes both halves of the much-anticipated Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. I’ve put together a Pick 4 play that includes a strategy I rarely utilize—using “ALL” in the most competitive leg. The rest of the sequence looks predictable enough that spreading deep [...]
Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography When handicappers turn their attention to the second division of Saturday’s $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, most are going to concede that #5 Game Winner is the horse to beat and will, in all likelihood, prevail as expected. The stoutly-bred son of Candy Ride is 4-for-4 with three Grade 1 wins under his belt, including a hard-fought triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile [...]