2023 Rebel Stakes Predictions: Top Five Contenders
The last Saturday in February follows the Kentucky Derby Trail with the $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. There are 11 entries in this Grade 2 stakes race covering 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Famed trainers are Brad Cox, Steven Asmussen and J. Keith Desormeaux along with jockeys Florent Geroux, Irad Ortiz Jr. and James Graham.
Here are my top five horses in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park as well as my percentage to win the race.
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This Kentucky-bred colt is trained by Brad Cox and raced at Indiana Downs, Keeneland and Remington Park as a two-year old. He placed second in the Remington Springboard Mile on Dec. 17. Wildatlanticstorm won that event with Echo Again coming in third. Giant Mischief will be making his three-year old debut at Oaklawn Parks in the Rebel Stakes starting at No. 5 with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
Sired by Into Mischief, he was bred to go more than a mile on dirt with speed on the backstretch. Giant Mischief has raced for Spendthrift Farm, Stonestreet Stables and Steve Landers Racing.
Odds of Winning: 40%
Trained by Tim Yakteen and ridden by jockey John Velazquez, Reincarnate is starting in the No. 6 gate at Oaklawn for this race. On Jan. 8 at Santa Anita Park, he won the 2023 Sham Stakes in one mile by posting a time of 1:35.87 over Newgate and National Treasure. Reincarnate has finished first or second place in his early career. He raced at Del Mar and Santa Anita in California before coming to Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
His races have all been a mile or over on dirt and turf since he place second at Del Mar in a one-mile Maiden Special Weight event. Reincarnate has the pedigree to be one of the leaders in the backstretch in the Rebel Stakes this Saturday.
Odds of Winning: 35%
With Keith Desormeaux as trainer and James Graham as the jockey in the No. 7 gate of the Rebel Stakes, this three-year colt has a chance to finish in the money. Confidence Game was third in the 2023 Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds behind Instant Coffee and Two Phil’s on Jan. 21. He won his last race as a two-year old at Churchill Downs in a 1 1/16 miles Allowance on Nov. 26.
As a son of Candy Ride, he has gone 1 1/16 miles in his last four races. Confidence Game also should be one of the leaders down the stretch in the Rebel Stakes.
Odds of Winning:: 15%
The colt was also bred in Kentucky and he raced for Cortlandt Farms (Donald Adam). He finished first at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26 in the ungraded Ed Brown Stakes after taking 11th in the Grade 1 Breeds’ Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 8. Powerful is posted at No. 2 for the Rebel Stakes in his first race of his three-year career. Steve Asmussen in the trainer and Isaac Castillo is the jockey.
Odds of Winning: 5%
Breaking in the No. 1 gate, Verifying is trained by Brad Cox and ridden by jockey Florent Geroux. Sired by Justify, he won his first race as a three-year old in a one mile Allowance at Oaklawn on Jan. 14. He finished six in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland on Nov. 4 after placed second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Aqueduct on Oct. 1. Verifying has a chance to finish in the money in this race if he gets off to a good start.
Odds of Winning: 5%
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