Rebel Stakes 2024


On Saturday 2/24/24 at Oaklawn Park we have a key Kentucky Derby Prep, the G2 Rebel Stakes.  They will race 1 1/16th miles for $1.25M.  Full field of 13 drawn in.

This is a race where the favorite, #7 Timberlake, is very strong and a mismatch for the field.  You can see this a few ways on the chart.  First of all the fair PFDS Odds for the horse is 7-10 and the BEST Odds declines slightly to 1-1.  So at 6-5 Morning Line (if odds stay there) the horse still offers $26 of betting value.   Other ways you can see the superiority is in the ENERGY field with a score of 101 which is substantially higher than most horses in the race.  Only #13 Time For Truth is sort of close with a 96 but that is a sprint race score.  Finally, Timberlake gets a letter grade of K+ which is very high because he RANKS first in 5 different ways I look at the race.  So this is the best horse in the race and you can expect the horse to run well.  The weaknesses of the horse is that it is coming off a 3 month layoff after a tough 2yo season and is racing 3 year olds for the first time.  His best race at 2 was on a muddy track.

So you either have to accept a short price of 4-5 on a win bet or look for a vertical exotic.  Who are other horses in the race to consider?  Let's work top to bottom through the chart.

#1, Carbone, 15-1 Morning Line, was favored in the Southwest Stakes but stopped running on a muddy track and declined in form significantly from his first two races which were wins.  His fast race form would still only get him an ENERGY score of about 91 which is still much slower than Timberlake but if he can go to the lead and save ground he might be part of the vertical exotics at a big price.  Part of the Asmussen contingent of horses

#11 Just Steel, 7-2, has raced 9 times for Lukas.  This is the second choice in the morning line and offers no value underneath Timberlake.  The wise move is to fade this horse.

#3 Common Defense, 30-1, also stopped in the Southwest Stakes at 20-1 odds.  I like the jockey switch to Hernandez but not much else to go on here, prefer others

#13 Time For Truth, 15-1, stretches out from a 2nd place listed stakes sprint.  Dam side pedigree stretching out of a Lookin at Lucky mare is encouraging.  But draw is very tough and figures to be caught wide into first turn.

#9 Lagynos, 20-1, ran a good 6th beaten only 4.5 lengths in Southwest Stakes at 3.4-1.  Rosario rode this horse over Carbone which is a good sign.   Horse set the pace and buried Carbone before holding on well in the mud.  Asmussen puts his son Keith on as jockey who I figure knows the horse very well and will be patient.  I expect this one to try and rate 2nd behind Carbone early being drawn further outside.  Strong horse to use.

Skipping down to #6 Dimatic, 8-1, also trained by Asmussen.  This son of Gun Runner for Winchell broke maiden in 3rd attempt on a sloppy track.  A bit slow to develop, blinkers are going on here.  Gets Gafflione but loses Lasix.  I like this horse the least of the Asmussen trio but figures to come from a few lengths back.

Bottom Line:  There are no other horses I like in the race.  #7 Timberlake stands out over the field and figures to get a good stalking trip.  One of the Asmussen Colts could steal the race if they set up a soft enough pace.  I would key Timberlake in Exactas over and under the #1, #6, #9 Asmussen trio.  Good luck folks!

-- Jeff Bessa, Charting Horse Value