Friday, March 15, 2013

2013 Rebel Stakes

OAKLAWN PARK - March 16, 2013
Race 10 - 5:48 PM
Rebel S. (Grade II)
Purse - $600,000
Distance - One And One Sixteenth Miles

2 – Carve
1 –Treasury Bill
3 – Texas Bling
4 – Delhomme
5 – Hard Rock Eleven
6 – Den’s Legacy
7 – Will Take Charge
8- Stormy Holiday
1A- Title Contender
9 – Oxbow
10 – Super Ninety Nine

As I examine the field of the Rebel Stakes I can’t help but get a funny feeling that a "perfect storm" kind of upset is very possible.

#10 Super Ninety Nine romped in his victory in the Southwest Stakes leaving #7 Will Take Charge (6th) and #3 Texas Bling (9th) and the rest of the Southwest contenders so far behind you were a little embarrassed for them – NO you were a LOT embarrassed for them!

See just how Super 99 is:

Agent 99 was kind of Super?!?
Let's hope I don't miss my prediction by
"this much"

However there are three possible problems facing Super Ninety Nine in the Rebel.

  1. #1A Title Contender (but I’ll get to that in a moment).
  2. He has a less than favorable post position (although – having no horse on his right should keep things open for him)
  3. Super Ninety Nine could end up in an early speed duel with Delhomme!! Which could leave him or both horses worn down in the final stretch.
His early speed rival #4 Delhomme looked solid in his 3rd place finish in the Remsen Stakes – Delhomme held an early lead for most of the race until he faded in the last furlong to fall behind two other horses by a neck. 

He has had quite a bit of time since that race to develop his stamina and work on his training…..however it’s the “amount” of time that could be a problem for Delhomme --- as it has been 112 days since he’s raced competitively, so there’s certainly reason to believe he’ll be rusty.

Outside of his trainers it’s hard to know how good this horse will be on Saturday.  However it appears to me that he’s got a perfect post position, and if he can own the lead and the rail early – I think he’s got a very good shot in this race….provided he still remembers what racing is.

Strangely Sensitive Cheetah
just wishes the writer would
get to "the moment"
And provided he gets a little help from #9 Title Contender….but I’ll get to that in a moment.

#6 Den’s Legacy has been very consistent – finishing in the money in his last 6 races against superior competition including Flashback, Goldenscents, and Violence. He would need a little help to win here, and it’s very possible #9 Title Contender will give it to him….but I’ll get to that in a moment.

#9 Oxbow could also be a “spoiler” in the Rebel.  In both the Risen Star Stakes (21 days ago) and the Cash Call Futurity  -- Oxbow went well wide in the first turn, and likely spent some early endurance that he could have used in the final stretch. 

It may have just been some bad luck in these races (although management has changed jockeys and Mike Smith will now be aboard), but if Oxbow can find a better position in the first half mile and the early speeders (Super 99 and Delhomme) wear themselves out – He could be the best horse left in the field.

Speaking of which here is rest of the field……

#2 Carve is an interesting prospect….he’s only raced twice in his career, but both races were here at Oaklawn Park, both distance were 1 1/16th miles – and he won both of them, however, this seems like a big jump in class for this horse.

#1 Treasury Bill has been inconsistent (1 win in 3 attempts) and this will be his first try at anything over a mile, I just don't see it.

#5 Hard Rock Eleven has a great name….but finished 12th , behind Oxbow in the Risen Star Stakes, and he only has 1 victory in 7 attempts.

#8 Stormy Holiday – finished well behind Will Take Charge and Texas Bling in the Smarty Jones Stakes – and Will Take Charge and Texas Bling finished well behind Super Ninety Nine in the last race….so I don’t care what kind of odds they give this horse….he isn’t worth it.

However that (finally) brings us to #1A Title Contender who may be the biggest wrinkle in this race.

I’m certainly not saying Title Contender will win this race, but I do think it’s possible he could determine the fate of two much stronger opponents – Oxbow and Super Ninety Nine.

Title Contender also likes to be a front runner and he may challenge for the opening lead. 

And as they all hit the first turn Title Contender could be in a position to push Oxbow well wide (which would be a trend at this point) and he could also push Super Ninety Nine --- three, four, five wide or more in the first turn!!

This could cause Oxbow and Super Ninety Nine to expend too much energy early as Oxbow makes it three bad early trips in a row and Super Ninety Nine completely wears himself out attempting to catch Delhomme – who will of course be looking to build a substantial early lead.

And as they hit the final stretch –

Title Contender (after having ruined the chances for two better horses) will have faded in the middle of the second turn and be on his way to a 6th or 7th place finish.

Oxbow will have once again gone wide early and be left with nothing in the tank as they approach the wire (although I can’t imagine Mike Smith doesn’t have a plan for this??)

Super Ninety Nine will be completely spent trying having gone too wide early, and falling into an early speed trap.

And Delhomme may end up fading because he was never intended to go more than a mile and he hasn’t raced in nearly four months……which in my opinion leaves only lackluster talent --- and #6 Den’s Legacy.

I see no reason why Den’s Legacy won’t enjoy a sensible paced and unobstructed trip -- which could be enough of a difference to make him the winner here.

Overall I think Super Ninety Nine possesses scary talent – but if they guess wrong on the first turn, or Super Ninety Nine can’t give up the front running position – and Delhomme finishes flat (which are both plenty likely) – that may be all the help Den’s Legacy needs.

Closing Speed likes 6, 4, 10

Since Den's Legacy is going off at 8/1 -- I think I would key him, here's how I might bet $16.

$1 Exacta: 10,9,4 w 6 = $3
$1 Exacta 6 w 10,9,4 = $3

$1 Trifecta Box - 4,6,10 = $6
$2 Carve to Win & Place = $4

No comments:

Post a Comment