Oaklawn Park Saturday: Kentucky Derby Prep, Rebel Stakes

Concert Tour wins the 2021 Rebel Stakes for Bob Baffert at Oaklawn Park.

The morning line favorite for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park won’t be eligible for Kentucky Derby Points. Newgrange is trained by Bob Baffert.

Baffert Officially Disqualified

On Monday, February 21 it was announced that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission had finally decided the fate of the late Medina Spirit and his 2021 Kentucky Derby victory. That decision was that the horse was officially disqualified and Mandaloun has been installed as the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner.

Impact on the Derby Trail

While the ruling is specific to last year’s Derby, it has major implications on the 2022 running. Accompanying the disqualification was the confirmation of Churchill Downs’ ban on any Bob Baffert trained horse earning Kentucky Derby or Oaks points. The ruling also handed Baffert a suspension meaning that his horses cannot run at Churchill for 3 months time. The full statement of the KHRC can be found on their website.

With the favorite in the feature from Oaklawn Park Baffert looks to add to his tally of 84 Derby points blocked by virtue of his horses winning or placing in Derby preps.

The Rebel Stakes Analysis

Oaklawn Park Race 11

Post: 5:22 PM CT; Purse: $1,000,000 Rebel S., 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 11

Newgrange will go off as the favorite in the Rebel from Oaklawn Park.
Newgrange is ineligible for Derby points but favored in the Rebel from Oaklawn Park.
  • #2 NEWGRANGE (9-5) has been ultra impressive since the debut and looks to have this group on speed figures. I frankly wanted to go a different way, but this one is the likeliest winner.
  • #8 CHASING TIME (8-1) has shown well at the 8 1/2 furlong distance and has a chance to make a good showing here.
  • #9 BARBER ROAD (9-2) is a cut below the favorite, but horses are allowed to take steps forward at this point in their career.
  • #6 STELLAR TAP (10-1) is well bred to go all day and maybe this one can find a top level performance and pull the major upset.

Selections: 2-8-9-6

Saturday Undercard Analysis

Oaklawn Park Race 1

Post: 12:10 PM CT; Purse: $84,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #4 LITTLE MOMBO (5-2) is one of 5 experienced runners in the field of 8, but of the ones who have run before this one stands above the rest.
  • #2 DEVIOUS (10-1) is a first time starter for solid enough connections. The breeding on this one makes me think there’s potential.
  • #5 HEARTYCONSTITUTION (9-2) should be involved early and has already hit the board in a dirt sprint.
  • #6 GYPSY REWARD (12-1) could surprise this group with a big debut. At Oaklawn I do tend to prefer these middle to outer posts.

Selections: 4-2-5-6

Oaklawn Park Race 2

Post: 12:40 PM CT; Purse: $28,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 10

  • #8 MR. DOUGIE FRESH (10-1) was installed as a ridiculous price on the morning line in my estimation. Maybe the most recent efforts leave something to be desired, but this one has back class to make him a major player. I’ll take at anything close to the morning line.
  • #4 MOLIERE (3-1) is a talented runner who could get the best of the race flow in this one.
  • #1 FIRST LINE (9-2) should be able to get the distance without too much issue.
  • #2 RIVER CACTUS (6-1) is an interesting player as well. I’m not sure about winning, but I think this one will threaten.

Selections: 8-4-1-2

Oaklawn Park Race 3

Post: 1:10 PM CT; Purse: $100,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #1 ICY STARE DOWN (2-1) goes out for top connections and has to be respected.
  • #4 PEACE PEDDLER (3-1) is in really good form and seems to be at its best running this sprint distance.
  • #7 PARLANCE (5-1) is a speed figure player in this race.
  • #3 MARR TIME (5-1) is the play if you haven’t already found your winner in the previous 3.

Selections: 1-4-7-3

Oaklawn Park Race 4

Post: 1:40 PM CT; Purse: $30,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 13

  • #5 ROLL DINERO ROLL (5-1) goes out for a good barn with solid breeding.
  • #9 J'S LITTLE MAN (9-2) has faced tough horses so far and should be forward throughout.
  • #4 ALLO ENRY (3-1) has run top speed numbers to this point. The question is can they be trusted.
  • #7 HEART HEADED ARKY (20-1) is an unheralded first time starter, but this is a field of proven loser so maybe it’s worth a shot here.

Selections: 5-9-4-7

Oaklawn Park Race 5

Post: 2:10 PM CT; Purse: $300,000 Honeybee S., 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 6

  • #3 SECRET OATH (3-2) has run the fastest against the best which is always a formula for success.
  • #2 YUUGIRI (5-2) could really enjoy the pace setup in this race.
  • #1 OPTIONALITY (7-2) comes in looking good and ready to fire a top performance.
  • #4 ICE ORCHID (6-1) is a marginal contender to win the race, but looks like a backup horse on paper.

Selections: 3-2-1-4

Oaklawn Park Race 6

Post: 2:40 PM CT; Purse: $29,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 12

  • #10 AWESOME SATURDAY (7-2) is the speed and class of this field. I’m not terribly worried about the post and will play heavily through this runner.
  • #7 SKYSCANNER (6-1) looks to fit this group really well.
  • #3 SECRETARY AT WAR (4-1) loves this distance and should be involved in the late stages.
  • #8 LONELY PRIVATE (10-1) will need to get the right trip, but there is a little ability in their if it happens.

Selections: 10-7-3-8 (Best Bet: #10 AWESOME SATURDAY)

Oaklawn Park Race 7

Post: 3:13 PM CT; Purse: $100,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 7

  • #6 MCLAREN VALE (9-5) will be singled in the back half of my doubles as this one lays over the field in class.
  • #3 COSTA TERRA (6-1) should have no problem with the distance.
  • #5 SKY AND SAND (3-1) comes into the race in great form.
  • #7 IGNITIS (5-1) is an interesting best of the rest type horse.

Selections: 6-3-5-7

Oaklawn Park Race 8

Post: 3:45 PM CT; Purse: $84,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 10

  • #2 QUICK TO BLAME (9-5) of the experienced runners this one lays over the field.
  • #9 CURLY TAIL (5-1) should have the foundation to go the route of ground.
  • #7 LUDWIG (8-1) would be the firster I would hitch my wagon to if I didn’t like the experienced runners, but debuts over distance are usually signs of a slow horse.
  • #1 DRIVEN ONE (30-1) ran against some tough horses. Maybe this one can strike at a price from the inside draw.

Selections: 2-9-7-1

Oaklawn Park Race 9

Post: 4:18 PM CT; Purse: $100,000 Allowance, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 12

  • #3 PALACE COUP (4-1) is the fastest horse with the best challengers faced so far.
  • #1 PATS PROPERTY (8-1) could get a really nice pace setup in this spot.
  • #10 PRIORITIZATION (3-1) comes in off some good performances and should be part of the equation.
  • #9 CALIBRATE (8-1) will likely try to run them off their feet early and sustain it for 8 furlongs.

Selections: 3-1-10-9

Oaklawn Park Race 10

Post: 4:49 PM CT; Purse: $84,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 13

  • #13 SLIM MAN (5-1) is a tough pick for me. This one towers over this inexperienced group. While I don’t mind a bit of width on the Oaklawn oval, the 13 post is a bit too far out for my liking. Maybe this one is just better.
  • #10 MAGNIFICUS (8-1) is well bred to run a big number here.
  • #8 STAYED IN FOR HALF (3-1) has experience, draws inside of the top 2 selections and comes from a bloodline that makes sense in this spot.
  • #2 ABRIERWIN (8-1) is a first time starter pedigree play.

Selections: 13-10-8-2

Oaklawn Park Race 11

Post: 5:22 PM CT; Purse: $1,000,000 Rebel S., 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 11

  • Rebel Stakes analysis is provided above

Selections: 2-8-9-6

Oaklawn Park Race 12

Post: 5:52 PM CT; Purse: $100,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 14

  • #7 HERITAGE PARK (10-1) will be forward early and has the top speed figures in the group. There’s no reason to think this one won’t outrun the 10-1 odds.
  • #10 NAVY SEAL (6-1) makes sense based on the quality of runners in previous races.
  • #12 YOU VEE CEE (6-1) is a form play and looks ready to put in a big effort.
  • #8 MO CHOCTAW (5-1) comes from a barn that cannot be underestimated.

Selections: 7-10-12-8

By Chris Adams

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.