The Rebel Stakes from Oaklawn Park features a field of eight thoroughbred racehorses vying for a $600,000 purse. The favorite at 9-5 is Steve Asmussen’s Tapiture. The son of Tapit will look to continue his winning ways under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. His main rival will be the horse he defeated last out, Strong Mandate.
Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner D Wayne Lukas, Strong Mandate was not fit when making his 2014 debut and should put forth a much better effort this time. As it stands, they are 1 and 1 against each other with Tapiture defeating him last out and Strong Mandate beating Tapiture when he broke his maiden. Joel Rosario retains the mount on Strong Mandate.
Much support will be given to John Sadler’s colt Kobe’s Back. He hardly broke a sweat when he won the San Vicente last out, but did not beat much in the way of competition. He will need a swift pace up front to set it up for his closing style. He has yet to prove he can be effective going longer distances. Jose Lezcano picks up the mount on the son of Flatter.
Hometown hero Street Strategy will not go without his far share of supporters. He is an expensive son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense that broke his maiden by 6-1/2 lengths when last seen. Calvin Borel chose to stick with him over Ride on Curlin, which is very encouraging. Borel, a three-time Derby winner, can come from on or off the pace on this Randy Morse trained sophomore.
Ride on Curlin lost a three-time Derby winning jock in the form of Borel, but picked up another in Kent Desormeaux. Always a colt that showed a lot of talent, this may be his last chance to prove that he belongs on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Do not be surprised if he scores the upset at big odds of 12-1; this is a very nice colt.
Those who do well in this race will likely point to the Arkansas Derby and ultimately the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.