Friday, March 16, 2018

Rebel Stakes Racing Roundup

©2018 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us this Saturday to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where SOLOMINI heads a herd of 12 young Thoroughbreds as the 3-2 morning line favorite in the 58th running of the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2). Post time is 7:09 p.m. ET.
 Solomini, 1-2-1 in four starts, is making his debut as a three-year-old and he comes into this race for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert off a controversial call in the Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (G1) where he finished first but was disqualified and placed third. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

SOLOMINI dueled between foes then stalked a bit off the rail, went outside a rival on the second turn and three wide into the stretch, bid three deep in the drive, came under right handed urging to bump a rival a sixteenth out, took a short lead in deep stretch and gamely prevailed.

Solomini tracked McKinzie and Instilled Regard down the stretch and was able to get up at the wire to win by three quarters of a length. There was clearly some bumping by all three horses down the stretch and I thought Solomin’s disqualification was unwarranted.
Curlin, the sire of Solomini, was an outstanding racehorse that compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts with $10,501,800 in career earnings.
Curlin did not start as a two-year-old. But, at the age of three, Curlin was 6-1-2 in nine starts with $5,102,800 in earnings including wins in the Rebel Stakes (G3) and Arkansas Derby (G2) en route to a third-place finish in the 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1). He went on to win the Preakness Stakes (G1) and he finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Other important stakes wins include the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), twice, Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1), and the UAE Jaguar Trophy Handicap.
With an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Solomini was a yearling (Hip 662) I liked in session four at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He’s is the best-bred colt in this herd and I look for him to run a good race.
Undefeated in two starts for trainer Todd Pletcher, MAGNUM MOON (7-2) comes into this race off an Allowance Optional Claiming race. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

MAGNUM MOON raced four wide early, angled in and settled nicely behind the leaders, waited patiently for room on the far turn, came four wide into the stretch, closed well outside, gained command nearing the sixteenth marker and pulled away in hand.

      Magnum Moon was never asked for run and he pulled away in the stretch to easily win by two lengths. The split for the mile of 1:36.87 and final time of 1:39.18 is what I like to see young colts run on the Derby trail.
Malibu Moon made only two starts as a two-year-old, compiling a 1-1-0 record, before a slab fracture ended his racing career.
At stud, Malibu Moon sired the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. In addition, he’s sired several horses that have been competitive on the Derby trail such as Gormley, Danzig Moon, Mr. Z and Stanford. Other nice runners sired by Malibu Moon include Life At Ten, Devil May Care, Declan’s Moon, Ask the Moon, Prospective, Kauai Katie, Moon Catcher, Moonshine Memories, Ransom the Moon, and Malibu Mint.
Magnum Moon has an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and a recent bullet work out could have him ready to run another good race.
      COMBATANT (8-1) comes into this race with a 1-3-0 record in five starts for trainer Steve Asmussen including second-place finishes in the Smarty Jones Stakes, Springboard Mile and the Southwest Stakes (G3). Here’s the video and chart call of the Southwest:

COMBATANT rallied five wide at the quarter pole in at the eighth pole, then couldn’t catch the winner.

Combatant rallied nicely down the center of the stretch to get up for second, 4½ lengths behind the victor, My Boy Jack.
Scat Daddy, the sire of Combatant, was a multiple graded stakes winner who compiled a 5-1-1 record in nine starts with $1,334,300 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, Scat Daddy was 3-0-1 in five starts with wins in the Sanford Stakes (G2) and Champagne Stakes (G1), and he finished second in the Hopeful Stakes (G1).
In his season debut as a 3-year-old, Scat Daddy finished third in the one-mile Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and followed up with wins in the 9-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) in route to a eighteenth-place finish in the Derby.
His best runners on the Derby Trail include Daddy Long Legs, Daddy Nose Best, El Kabeir, Frac Daddy, Azar and Dice Flavor who was my long shot pick to win the 2013 El Camino Real Derby (G3).
Combatant has a C Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and I look for him to run a good race.
A wild long shot I like in this race is BODE’S MAKER who has been tabbed at 50-1 on the morning line. He’s struggled in most races compiling a 1-2-1 record in nine starts for trainer Allen Milligan. He comes into the Rebel off a nice second-place finish in an Allowsannce Optional Claiming race at Oaklawn Park on March 3. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

BODE’S MAKER settled early, gradually progressed from inside, swung out four wide leaving the second bend, steadily closed the gap, angled inside EXCLAMATION POINT deep stretch and caught COLOUR GUARD for second at the wire.

Bode’s Maker travelled at the back of the herd until the half when he began his move. He continued to run down the stretch with intensity, and purpose, but the mile race proved to be too short and he finished second 1¼ lengths behind Exclamation Point.
Bodemeister, the sire of Bode’s Maker, did not race until the age of three when he made six starts for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert, compiling a 2-4-0 record in six starts with $1,304,800 in career earnings.
He raced twice in the maiden ranks before finishing second in his third start, the San Felipe Stakes (G2). In his fourth start, Baffert shipped Bodemeister to Oaklawn Park where he was my pick to win the Arkansas Derby (G1). Bodemeister trounced the field, winning by an outstanding 9½ lengths. He then went on to finish second in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
Bode’s Maker has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he has the breeding to be competitive in this race. However, whether Bode’s Maker can step up to be a factor remains to be seen. The jockey switch to Jareth Loveberry appears to be a good combination and I like the stretch out in distance to 8½ furlongs.
Honorable mention goes to Sporting Chance (5-1) and Curlin’s Honor (12-1).


According to Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form, Bode’s Maker will be scratched from the Rebel Stakes (G2) and he will run Sunday in race eight at Oaklawn Park. Pryor is also cross entered in this race.
So, with the scratch of Bode’s Maker, Sporting Chance moves up to potentially finish in the top four and honorable mention goes to Curlin’s Honor.


This is the sixth consecutive year for Churchill Downs to use a point system to determine eligibility to get into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. A total of 36 races comprise the Road to the Kentucky Derby and a significant change to the schedule is the addition of the Springboard Mile at Remington Park on December 17.
In addition to the Japan road to the Derby which features the Cattleya Sho Stakes (November 25), Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushan Stakes (December 13) and Hayacinth Stakes (February 2018), Churchill Downs has added a European road to Derby glory consisting of seven races: Juddmonte Beresford (September 24), Juddmonte Royal Lodge (September 30), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (October 1), Racing Post Trophy (October 28, Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (March 1), Patton (March 2) and the Burradon (March 30).

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Bolt d’Oro, 64, Mick Ruis, $780,000
2. Enticed, 63, Kiaran McLaughlin, $360,880
3. Bravazo, 54, D. Wayne Lukas, $349,913
4. Promises Fulfilled, 52, Dale Romans, $256,480
5. Quip, 50, Rodolphe Brisset, $212,000
6. McKinzie, 40, Bob Baffert, $320,000
7. +Good Magic, 34, Chad Brown, $1,200,000
8. Flameaway, 30, Mark Casse, $472,260
9. Firenze Fire, 29, Jason Servis, $582,500
10. +Free Drop Billy, 24, Dale Romans, $497,200
11. Snapper Sinclair, 22, Steve Asmussen, $301,810
12. Strike Power, 20, Mark Hennig, $199,560
13. Old Time Revival, 20, Kenneth Decker, $80,000
14. Instilled Regard, 19, Jerry Hollendorfer, $196,000
15. +Solomini, 14, Bob Baffert, $436,000
16. Catholic Boy, 14, Jonathan Thomas, $330,000
17. Avery Island, 14, Kiaran McLaughlin, $320,000
18. My Boy Jack, 12, Keith Desormeaux, $402,000
19. Combatant, 12, Steve Asmussen, $210,000
20. Mourinho, 11, Bob Baffert, $149,360
+ = Horses we picked as yearlings at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Good Magic = Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Male.


1. *MENDELSSOHN, 20, Aidan O’Brien, $747,307
2. Saxon Warrior (JPN), 20, Aidan O’Brien, $245,017
3. *GRONKOWSKI, 20, Jeremy Noseda, $0
4. Roaring Lion (USA), 14, John Gosden, $136,807
5. f-Happily (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $543,648
6. *THREEANDFOURPENCE, 8, Aiden O’Brien, $54,076
7. Court House (IRE), 8, John Gosden, $0
8. *SEAHENGE, 4, Aiden O’Brien, $145,630
9. Olmedo (FR), 4, Jean-Claude Rouget, $113,505
10. Nelson (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $99,826
11. Delano Roosevelt (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $38,074
12. Fortune’s Pearl (IRE), 4, Andrew Balding, $1,800
13. Masar (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $101,264
14. The Pentagon (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $71.981
15. Mildenberger (ENG), 2, Mark Johnston, $64,634
16. Warm the Voice (IRE), 2, Brendan Duke, $12,904
17. f-Blackgold Fairy, 2, Michael Halford, $4,618
18. Ventura Knight (IRE), 2, Mark Johnston, $0
19. Verbal Dexterity (IRE), 1, Jim Bolger, $280,269
20. Kew Gardens (IRE), 1, Aidan O’Brien, $28,605
21. Woodmax (GER), 1, Nicolas Clement, $23,610
22. Petrus (IRE), 1, Brian Meehan, $7,182
          *Mendelssohn, Gronkowski, Threeandfourpence and Seahenge are only horses nominated for Triple Crown. Here’s the video of Mendelssohn’s win in the Patton Stakes. Here’s the video of Gronkowski’s win in the Conditions Stakes.

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Sumahama (JPN), 30, Ryo Takahashi, $291,287
2. *RUGGERO (JPN), 16, Yuichi Shikato, $220,861
3. Taiki Ferveur, 12, Mitsunori Makiura, $299,689
4. Le Vent Se Leve (JPN), 10, Kiyoshi Hagiwara, $463,935
5. Don Fortis (JPN), 4, Mitsunori Makiura, $436,916
6. Mic Ben Hur (JPN), 4, Yoshihiro Hatakeyama, $122,696
7. Great Time (JPN), 3, Hideaki Fujiwara, $186,586
8. Haseno Pyro (JPN), 2, Kenki Sato, $263,981
9. Meiner Yukitsubaki (JPN) 2, Noboru Takagi, $151,796
10. Dark Repulser (JPN), 1, Takashi Kanari, $200,920
11. Bronze Kay (JPN), 1, Koichi Tsunoda, $75,979
*Ruggero is the only horse nominated for Triple Crown. Here’s the video of his last race, Hyacinth Stakes.

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