Tips and Analysis for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park

Tips and Analysis for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park
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The $1 million Rebel Stakes on Saturday at Oaklawn Park is one of the richest Kentucky Derby preps. As usual, trainer Bob Baffert will play a major role in determining how impactful the race will be, but this time under different circumstances.

The California-based trainer has won this race eight times and sends out race favorite Newgrange, unbeaten in three career starts, including the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn last month.

Baffert-trained horses, however, are not eligible to earn points in Derby prep races, because of a positive drug test from first-place 2021 Kentucky Derby finisher Medina Spirit.

Earlier this week, Kentucky stewards disqualified Medina Spirit from his Kentucky Derby victory and handed Baffert a 90-day suspension. Baffert is appealing the suspension, which begins on March 8.

The Rebel offers 85 Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers (50-20-10-5). The 50 points to the winner are enough to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Any points Newgrange earns would be vacated.

Four horses that finished behind Newgrange in the Southwest are back for another try, including runner-up Barber Road and third-place finisher Ben Diesel. Trainer Steve Asmussen has three horses entered, including Chasing Time, an impressive allowance race winner last time out.

The Rebel is the middle leg of Oaklawn’s Derby prep stakes program, run between the Southwest and Arkansas Derby. Baffert won the Rebel the previous two years with Concert Tour and Nadal.

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The Road to the Kentucky Derby

This race is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Forty-eight races comprise the series, and points are awarded to the top four finishers. More points are available in the most important graded stakes races leading up to the Kentucky Derby on May 7.

This series began on Sept. 18 with the Iroquois for 2-year-old thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs. It will conclude with the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 16, three weeks before the Run for the Roses.

The winner of this week's race is awarded 50 points, the runner-up gets 20, the third horse earns 10 points and the fourth-place finisher gets five.

The field is limited to 20 horses, and we will be covering the series race by race. We will update the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds on an ongoing basis, so you should bookmark this page.

Current 2022 Kentucky Derby Qualifier Standings

Rank HorsePoints Earnings
1 Epicenter 64 $340,000
2 Smile Happy 30 $314,410
3 Classic Causeway 16 $246,100
4 Pappacap 14 $562,000
5 Zandon 14 $90,000
6 White Abarrio 12 $186,850
7 Mo Donegal 12 $161,500
8 Rattle N Roll10 $300,000
9 Jack Christopher 10 $275,000
10 Make It Big 10 $240,000
11 Slow Down Andy 10 $184,000
12 Major General 10 $177,525
13 Dash Attack 10 $172,500
14 Early Voting 10 $137,500
15 Call Me Midnight 10 $123,500
16 Courvoisier 10 $83,750
17 Barber Road 8 $239,700
18 Commandperformance 6 $200,000
19 Mackinnon 5 $296,000
20 Pioneer of Medina 5 $16,000

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Rebel Stakes Distance, Purse, Date

2022 Race Date: Saturday, Feb. 26

Track: Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas

Inaugural Race: 1961 (run as Rebel Handicap)

Distance: 1 1/16 miles

Surface: Dirt

Status: Grade 2

Purse: $1 million

2021 winner: Concert Tour

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Rebel Stakes Field with Opening Lines and Odds

Position HorseTrainer RiderOdds
1 Kavod Chris A. Hartman Francisco Arrieta12-1
2 Newgrange Bob Baffert John r. Velazquez9-5
3 Cairama Steve AsmussenGeovanni Franco15-1
4 Un Ojo Ricky Courville Ramon A. Vazquez12-1
5 Texas Red Hot Randy L. MorseRicardo Santana, Jr.12-1
6 Stellar Tap Steve AsmussenCristian Torres10-1
7 Ben Diesel Dallas StewartJon Kenton Court6-1
8 Chasing Time Steve AsmussenTyler Gaffalione8-1
9 Barber Road John Alexander CruzGutierrez Reyluis9-2
10 Ethereal Road D. Wayne LukasLuis Contreras12-1
11 Dash Attack Kenneth McPeekDavid Cohen8-1

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Picks and Analysis for 2022 Rebel Stakes

The first five finishers of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park last month are back for the Rebel. Southwest winner Newgrange is again the horse to beat, but at a short price. Our selections:

Dash Attack was a disappointing fifth in the Southwest, the colt’s first loss in three career races. He has returned with a pair of bullet workouts and appears fast enough with his best effort. A big key is how he handles the racing surface — his two wins were on off-tracks. He’s worth a shot at a square price.

A perfect 3-for-3, Newgrange is the deserving 9-5 morning-line favorite as trainer Bob Baffert seeks his ninth Rebel victory. Newgrange had to work hard to win the Southwest last time out and ships back from California. If he wins, look for the horse’s owners to move Newgrange to a new barn next time out to earn Kentucky Derby points since Baffert-trained horses are ineligible.

Kavod led the Southwest Stakes until mid-stretch before fading to fourth on a track that was favoring closers that day. May be distance-challenged, but is dangerous at double-digit odds if left alone on an uncontested lead.

Barber Road was a solid runner-up in the Southwest after a very wide trip and is coming off three consecutive second-place finishes. … Chasing Time was sent off as the betting favorite in all five career starts but won only two of them. Will offer more value this time, but steps up in class.

Final Recap

The Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park is another pivotal race in what already is an exciting 2022 sprint to the Triple Crown.

Since you are interested in the sport of kings, you should check out our horse race betting page. It contains a lot of great information, and we will be tightly focused on the Road Kentucky Derby every step of the way, so you should come back to visit us.

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