©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
This Saturday, the Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where Suddenbreakingnews heads a full field of 14 young Thoroughbreds as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the 56th running of the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2). Post time is 7:06 p.m. ET.
Suddenbreakingnews is a horse I wrote about in my 2016 Kentucky Derby Outlook, and, with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, he’s the best bred horse in this race.
To date, Suddenbreakingnews has compiled a 3-3-0 record in six starts with a second-place finish in the Springboard Mile and wins in the Clever Trevor Stakes and Southwest Stakes (G3). Here’s the video and chart call of his last race:
SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS climbed passed the wire the first time to fall far back, continued to lag up the backstretch, swung out seven wide turning for home, set down for the drive, closed with a great amount of late energy to win going away.
Suddenbreakingnews showed versatility and athleticism in this race. He’s the type of runner I like to see on the Kentucky Derby Trail that can run close to the pace or come from dead last, like his run in the Southwest Stakes (G2).
Mineshaft, the sire of Suddenbreakingnews, was an outstanding route racer who compiled a 10-3-1 record in 18 lifetime starts. He began his racing career in England at the age of three, winning a maiden weight for age race at Newmarket. In November, Mineshaft was shipped to America where he won two more races to close out the season with a 3-1-1 record in nine starts.
As a four year old, Mineshaft really proved himself as a champion and compiled a 7-2-0 record in route to earning Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse honors. In nine starts, Mineshaft won the New Orleans Handicap (G2), Ben Ali Stakes (G3), Pimlico Special Handicap (G1), Suburban Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1) and the Jockey Club Gold Club Stakes (G1).
Suddenbreakingnews has the breeding to wear the “Roses in May.” However, it remains to be seen if he has classic potential. He has room to improve in his second start of the season and I look for him to run a good race.
Discreetness (12-1) is another colt I wrote about in my 2016 Kentucky Derby Outlook. To date, he’s compiled a 4-0-0 record in seven starts for trainer William Fires including wins in the Springboard Mile and Smarty Jones Stakes. His off-the-board finish in the Southwest Stakes (G3) last time out is not indicative of his potential. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
DISCREETNESS eight wide into the first turn, raced mid pack, moved a bit closer four wide turning for home, flattened out a bit in the drive.
Discreetness has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® grade rating and his Behavior Index indicates he should be competitive on the Derby Trail. However, one never knows if a young Thoroughbred, like Discreetness, will live up to his breeding and there can be many factors that contribute to a horse not running to his Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® – Effinex is a good example of that.
Discreet Cat, the sire of Discreetness, was a late bloomer winning his only start as a 2-year-old in a 6-furlong sprint at Saratoga Racecourse. At the age of three, Discreet Cat was a speedy colt whose best distance was at a mile but was able to stretch out and win the 8½-furlong UAE Derby.
Discreetness should be able to compete at this distance and time will tell if he can improve off of his last race.
Madtap (6-1), along with Creator, is a coupled entry for trainer Steve Asmussen. With an overall 2-0-1 record in five starts, Madtap appears to be an improving horse with a third-place finish in his debut as a three year old and a romping, six-length win in an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Oaklawn on March 5. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
MADTAP broke sharp, vied into the first turn, floated out three wide turning onto the backstretch, dueled again into the far turn, responded and repelled a foe into the lane, stayed clear to the end while being kept to task.
Madtap won by an impressive six lengths and his was final time of 1:43.85 was decent. His C Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® makes him competitive in the Rebel.
Tapit, the sire of Madtap and Creator, was undefeated in two starts as a 2-year-old including a win in the Laurel Futurity (G3). As a 3-year-old, Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of the season but did win the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Jockey Corey Nakatani returns for the mount. And, another move forward on the trail could have Madtap ready to run a good race.
Cupid (7-2) ships in from California for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert who’s tied with the Late Robert E. “Bob” Holthus with five wins each in the Rebel Stakes (G2). To date, Cupid has compiled a 1-1-0 record in three starts, including a maiden-breaking win at Santa Anita Park on February 7. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
CUPID bobbled at the start, tugged his way along outside then stalked three deep, ranged up leaving the second turn, was fanned four wide into the stretch, took the lead in upper stretch, drifted in and drove clear under a couple taps with the whip turned down, some hand urging and a snug hold late.
Cupid won by an impressive 5¼ lengths and his final time was 1:43.78. He also is sired by Tapit and he has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®. However, his Behavior Index potentially makes him competitive in this race.
Since his maiden debut last December, Cupid has improved in each race and he has room to improve in his third start of the season as a three year old. A recent bullet work out could have him ready to run a good race.
Honorable mention goes to Creator and Whitmore (7-2) who could, perhaps, be factors in this race. Creator comes into this race with a 1-4-0 record in six starts including a 7¼ length romp in his last race. Here’s the video and chart of that race.
Whitmore comes into this race off of a second-place finish in the Southwest Stakes (G3). Here’s the video and chart of that race.
The winner of Rebel Stakes (G2) will receive 50 points, the second-place finisher will receive 20 points, the third-place finisher will receive 10 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive 5 points.
Halfway through the Championship series, beginning with the UAE Derby (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 26, the points will increase to 100 points for the winner, 40 points for second place, 20 points for third and 10 points for fourth place.
Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers:
2016 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Rank, Horse, Points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Mohaymen, 70, Kiaran McLaughlin, $760,350
2. Destin, 51, Todd Pletcher, $338,000
3. Gun Runner, 51, Steve Asmussen, $249,200
4. Danzing Candy, 50, Cliff Sise, Jr., $240,000
5. Shagaf, 50, Chad Brown, $240,000
6. Mor Spirit, 44, Bob Baffert, $416,800
7. Nyquist, 30, Doug O’Neill, $1,700,000
8. Exaggerator, 26, Keith Desormeaux, $1,028,000
9. Sunny Ridge, 23, Jason Servis, $505,600
10. Mo Tom, 22, Tom Amoss $288,326
11. Laoban, 22, Eric Guillot, $92,000
12. Forevamo, 20, All Stall, Jr., $210,000
13. Zulu, 20, Todd Pletcher, $79,200
14. Outwork, 20, Todd Pletcher, $70,000
15. Flexibility, 15, Chad Brown, $232,500
16. Brody’s Cause, 14, Dale Romans, $500,000
17. Greenpointcrusader, 14, Dominick Schettino, $369,300
18. Swipe, 12, Keith Desormeaux, $597,130
19. Fellowship, 12, Stanley Gold, $115,590
20. Adventist, 12, Leah Gyarmati, $65,000