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A11 - Rebel Stakes
Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 145 on May 4th at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years’ Run for the Roses on VegasInsider.com, culminating on Friday, May 3 with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 3 and May 4, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year. Click here!

Anthony's Eleven (3/15/19)

Anthony's Eleven (3/15/19)
Rank Horse Jockey Trainer Next Race Derby Points
1 Tacitus Jose Ortiz Bill Mott Wood Memorial (4/6 at Aqu) 50 pts
2 Hidden Scroll Javier Castellano Bill Mott Florida Derby (3/30 at GP) 0 pts
3 Bourbon War Irad Ortiz, Jr. Mark Hennig Florida Derby (3/30 at GP) 21 pts
4 Code of Honor John Velazquez Shug McGaughey Florida Derby (3/30 at GP) 54 pts
5 Country House Luis Saez Bill Mott Louisiana Derby (3/23 at FG) 20 pts
6 Game Winner Joel Roario Bob Baffert Rebel (3/16 at OP) 30 pts
7 Improbable Drayden Van Dyke Bob Baffert Rebel (3/16 at OP) 10 pts
8 Haikal Rajiv Maragh Kiaran McLaughlin Wood Memorial (4/6 at Aqu) 50 pts
9 Signalman Brian Hernandez, Jr. Ken McPeek Blue Grass (4/6 at Kee) 18 pts
10 Tax Junior Alvarado Danny Gargan Wood Memorial (4/6 at Aqu) 12 pts
11 Gunmetal Grey Flavien Prat Jerry Hollendorfer Rebel (3/16 at OP) 18 pts

75 Kentucky Derby points are on the line down in Hot Springs, Arkansas this Saturday as Oaklawn Park will run two divisions of the G2 Rebel at 1 1/16 miles.

When it was announced that racing would come to a halt in southern California, forcing the cancellation of the G2 San Felipe on March 9, Oaklawn management said it would split the Rebel if 20 entered but went ahead and kept their promise when 19 sophomores entered. Oaklawn added $500K to the original $1 million purse, making each race worth 37.5 Derby points to the winner. They’ll be run as races 8 and 10 on an 11-race card that features two stakes for older horses as well.

Four trainers, all Hall of Fame members, had multiple entrants that were split between the two divisions when entries were drawn on Wednesday. And as we’ve come to expect, Bob Baffert holds a pretty good hand in both divisions with a pair of undefeated colts, juvenile Eclipse Award victor Game Winner and Improbable. These two were set to square off in the San Felipe but now each head a division of this event.

Improbable will break from the far outside in post 9 in the first division of the Rebel under his regular rider Drayden Van Dyke while making his three-year-old debut.

Improbable got up in the final strides of his late September debut in a six-furlong maiden event at Santa Anita before shipping to Churchill Downs a month or so later for the Street Sense, a one-turn mile stakes on the Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard. He was never far from a wicked early half-mile while racing in mid-pack before grabbing the lead off of the turn and drawing off to win by a comfortable seven lengths.

Five weeks later, Baffert stretched Improbable out to this distance and got him around two turns for the first time when he rolled past stablemate Mucho Gusto for a five-length tally in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity over five others.

Next door in post 8 is fellow California shipper Galilean, himself just a neck shy of being undefeated in four starts for Jerry Hollendorfer.

Galilean, who has run exclusively in races stakes races for California-breds thus far in his career, broke his maiden by a neck in his debut at Los Alamitos before falling a neck short in his second try, his first with blinkers.

With a pair of sprints under his belt, Galilean stretched out to a mile upon his return to Los Al and demolished a field of six when he scored in the King Glorious by nine lengths to wrap up his two-year-old season before he returned two months later to take the Cal Cup Derby at Santa Anita by over four lengths. Flavien Prat, his pilot in his last two starts, has the call.

Long Range Toddy is one of six runners Steve Asmussen has in the Rebels this season. Racing exclusively at Remington Park last season, he finished fourth in his debut before taking three straight to end 2018, including the Clevor Trevor at seven furlongs and Springboard Mile around two turns.

This season, in a couple of Oaklawn Park stakes, Long Range Toddy just missed when he tried to rally up the rail before falling a neck short to the front-running Gray Attempt in the Smarty Jones then rallied nicely despite encountering a touch of traffic on the far turn in the Southwest where he finished third just a couple of lengths behind the winner. Jon Court rides for the first time from post 2.

Asmussen will also send out Ninth Street from post 6 under Ricardo Santana, Jr. in this division. The most seasoned of all 19 Rebel entrants having already run eight times in his career, Ninth Street broke his maiden when blinkers were added in his fifth start going a mile in the slop at Remington before shipping to Delta to win a minor stakes in his next start back in October. This season, Ninth Street was second in a similar stakes at Delta before failing to fire when he beat just two home in the Southwest. He’ll race without blinkers in here.

Extra Hope will get Hall of Famer Mike Smith, the record holder in this event for riders with four prior wins, in the saddle when he breaks from post 1 for trainer Ricard Mandella. He broke his maiden in his fourth try when blinkers were added and he stretched out to this distance but was no match for Improbable when he finished third, some eight lengths behind the winner, in the Los Al Futurity. Last out in late January, Extra Hope took an entry level allowance/optional claimer by just over three lengths in the Santa Anita slop.

Easy Shot broke his maiden in an $80K claimer to end a four-race juvenile campaign before finishing fifth in the G3 Sham and third in the G3 Robert Lewis at Santa Anita to start this season for trainer Keith Desormeaux. Richard Eramia rides from post 4.

Louisiana-bred Classy John has finished in the exacta in all five of his starts. After breaking his maiden at Saratoga in his debut by six lengths, he finished second at Churchill going seven furlongs off of a 10-week break then won a pair of statebred stakes in the slop at the Fair Grounds. Last out, in his two-turn debut, Classy John got nailed on the wire going a mile at Delta in a similar stakes spot. David Cohen rides for Dallas Stewart from post 7.

Corruze, a two-time turf sprint winner for Chris Hartman, will break from post 3 with Stewart Elliott in the irons while the maiden Proud Nation will break from post 5 for Joe Sharp under David Cabrera.

Game Winner makes his seasonal bow in the second division of the Rebel. He’ll break from post 5 under regular rider Joel Rosario in what will be his first start in over four months.

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Game Winner has done nothing wrong in his four-race career. After breaking his maiden at Del Mar by almost six lengths with blinkers, Baffert, who has won this event a record six times already, removed the “rogue’s badge” for the G1 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs. Game Winner came from off the pace to win by a going-away length-and-a-half.

Stretching out to this trip in the G1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita for his next start, Game Winner ran arguably the best race of his career when he sat just off of the early pace before opening up at will through the stretch to win by a comfortable four-and-a-half length margin.

Game Winner finished the year as the even money favorite in the B.C. Juvenile. After getting bumped at the start, Rosario moved up into striking range on the turn before a bumpy stretch battle that resulted in a more workmanlike, gritty score by just over two lengths.

Unlike Game Winner, Gunmetal Gray has already run twice as a sophomore and his connections are hoping the recency will help him turn the tables on the champ. He has already finished behind him twice when second in the American Pharoah and fifth in the Breeders’ Cup.

Gunmetal Gray returned from a two month break to take the G3 Sham by a length with a powerful, last-to-first stretch run before finishing a non-threatening second in the Lewis last time out when race dynamics were completely against his running style. Prat and Hollendorfer team up again from post 8.

Our Braintrust ships in for Mark Casse and adds blinkers after finishing on the worst end of a three-horse photo in the G3 Withers going nine furlongs last out six weeks ago.

Our Braintrust scored in the first two starts of his career last spring, including the Tremont at Belmont, before a six-month layoff. Since the break he was second in both a Maryland-bred stakes at Laurel and the Jerome at Aqueduct. He was wide and involved in a tough stretch battle last out that resulted in an objection but not a disqualification. David Cohen rides from post 7.

Omaha Beach hasn’t missed the board in his five tries and made all three of his 2018 starts on turf before switching to dirt this year for Mandella. After just missing at a mile, he cutback to seven furlongs and won by nine lengths over a sloppy Santa Anita main track. Smith rides from post 6.

Asmussen has four runners in this division of the rebel, led by Jersey Agenda. After finishing second in his debut on turf, he won back-to-back dirt starts, his maiden over a sloppy Churchill course in November sprinting and an entry level allowance/optional claimer over this course going a mile, both on the lead. He faded after some early traffic trouble and chasing the pace in the Southwest most recently. Jose Ortiz rides for the first time from post 4.

Both Laughing Fox and Captain Von Trapp come into this looking for their third straight scores, respectively. Winless in two juvenile sprint starts, Laughing Fox came from mid-pack to break his maiden then won an allowance/optional claimer from well off a quick early pace in his two tries this year over this course and at this distance. Santana, Jr. rides from post 2.

Captain Von Trapp failed as the chalk in his three starts last season, all sprints, then returned from a two-plus month layoff to break his maiden going six furlongs in the mud before stretching out to win an allowance/optional claimer at a mile. Both of his starts came over this course as well and when Asmussen added blinkers to him. Ramon Vazquez rides from post 10.

Kaziranga adds blinkers after finishing more than a dozen lengths behind Laughing Fox most recently. He’s won just once in six career starts, a maiden race at Remington over a course with some moisture in it, on Halloween 2018. He’ll break from post 9 with Eramia.

Market King has won just once from six starts but it was his lone start at this distance and it was at Oaklawn. Hall of Fame connections John Velazquez and D. Wayne Lukas team up from the rail. Parsimony, winless in seven tries so far, will break from post three for Doug O’Neill with Mario Gutierrez in the boot.

Prep Play of the Day

In the first division, make a $20 exacta using Improbable over Extra Hope and Long Range Toddy. In the second division, make a $20 using Game Winner over Laughing Fox and Gunmetal Gray. Total bets are $80. Good luck!!!!!
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Bankroll: Plus $136

Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6PM ET on Wednesday and 3-7PM ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 201 or streaming live at horseracingradio.net. He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as the co-host of Talking Horses and a backup racetrack announcer. Follow him on Twitter @thebigastabile

  
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