The Rebel (Grade 2) (KYD)- $900.000 Purse
OP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
March 17, 2018
Last month, Motor City took to the track here at OP on a very good stretch of form for the Grade 3 Southwest. Things did not go well for him that day, as he would run at the back of the pack throughout the race, and end up with a seventh place finish. With his entry in the Grade 2 Rebel, there was plenty of opportunity for him to prove that the Southwest would be an aberration, and he could make amends for that here. Motor City, despite not having the smoothest of trips, would recover well from the Southwest, and scores a big victory in the Grade 2 Rebel, and gets the big 50 points that should send him to the KYD in May. He’ll look to join the likes of Half Spirit and Commanding as former Rebel winners who went on to win the KYD when he does. The proud winning trainer of this one is First Class Stable, who wins the race for the first time. The same is true for his jockey, J S Rocco Jr, who did a great job of maneuvering him in a tight pack that always seemed to be blocked by Simple Request. Perhaps this couldn’t have happened if Simple Request was not fast enough to finish second. Congrats go out to our winners! The race was won in a time of 1:41.44, and that is your new record for the Rebel. Let’s take a look at the race!
(1/4 Mile- :23.26)- From his outside starting position, Tsali is shot out of the starting gate like there’s no tomorrow for Team 7 Illusions, and he is quickly able to scoot over to rail in time to around the opening turn. Babalu Time also breaks sharply for Night Rider Stables, as does Simple Request, the recent addition to the Saratoga Stud stable, who for some reason went off at odds of 93/1, despite being our third choice for the race. They trailed by about two lengths, and it would be another length to Wild Fame, the recent large purchase by Jive Inc. Next would be our eventual winner Motor City, running fifth at this point while in the third lane and four lengths back. To his inside were the stablemates from Mb Stables, On The Spot and Secret To Success. Going back another length we find Pink Cadillac (John Henry), Roger That (Mb Stables), and Yanoro (Blushing Meadows). Behind them were those who clearly had no interest in the early pace: Table Stakes (Pan Farms), Powerful Suit (Nakamura Stables), Neon Wolf (Smokey Stover), and First Class Male (Team 7 Illusions), with the last one looking like he may have missed the break at the start.
(½ Mile- :47.04)- The backstretch was an interesting component of this race in as far as how it could have impacted Motor City. The field began to tighten up considerably midway through this portion, and Motor City would end up having Simple Request in front of him to the point where it looked like Motor City may have had to check up. He could not move inside or outside due to the presence of Yanoro and On The Spot in the area. Fortunately for Motor City, Simple Request looks to find a little more skip to step here as well, so Motor City does not completely have to drop out of it. Meanwhile at the front, Tsali did not have to worry about anyone near him as he continued to lead by about two lengths. Babalu Time and Wild Fame would emerge as his biggest threats at this stage. Next came that now five wide group that consisted of Yanoro, Simple Request, and On The Spot, with Secret To Success and Neon Wolf there as well. Motor City was a length behind this and had Table Stakes and Roger That beginning to creep up on him. Pink Cadillac, First Class Male, and Powerful Suit round out the field here.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Late in the backstretch run, and into the turn, the field really begins to bunch together, as the pacesetting group, led by Tsali, and also consisting of Babalu Time and Wild Fame, have been caught. In particular, it’s that five wide group that consisted of Simple Request, that have rapidly closed in. Because the top three are not relinquishing their inside lanes, all five of these horses: Secret To Success, On The Spot, Simple Request, Neon Wolf, and to an extent, Yanoro, all have to make a dramatic three to four lane shift outside from where they had been running, and had to do it while within the turn. Motor City was still right behind Simple Request, and he would be very grateful that Yanoro was not as up for this run as the others. This allowed Motor City to now slide one more lane outside, this to right of Simple Request, so that he would no longer be boxed in by that one. Going into the top of the stretch, just two lengths separated the top seven horses, and it seemed as though we were in store for a fascinating dash to the wire. We were still waiting to see moves from the likes of Table Stakes, Roger That, Pink Cadillac, First Class Male, and Powerful Suit.
(Finish- 1:41.44)- With a furlong to go, you could almost throw a blanket over the top seven. Wild Fame had a head in front here and seemed to be battling hard to try and hold this lead, but the unexpected longshot Simple Request was closing hard and about to take the lead from him. Though then there was Motor City, also gaining, but he would be the most impressive in the later stages. The final furlong is where Motor City separated himself from the rest of this field, as he kicked his motor into overdrive, allowing him to powerfully clear the other six that he had been running with, although Simple Request hung tough for a while. Coming to the wire, Motor City was pulling away from everyone, and gets an impressive victory. While he will surely be recognized, let’s not forget about the valiant effort here by Simple Request. If I have one simple request, its to please never let this one go off at odds of 93/1 again unless its real money that I can win. Taking the final two check-earning positions were the Mb Stables’ pair On The Spot, and Secret To Success. Wild Fame held off Neon Wolf for fifth, and Babalu Time was in the mix as well, in seventh. That is where, in my opinion, the line is drawn between who ran well or at least good enough in this race, and who had a disappointing finish. Pink Cadillac, Roger That, and Table Stakes were the best of the rest, Powerful Suit was next, and then Yanoro. Maybe, you can blame, to a smaller extent, the outside trip for Yanoro’s bad run. Behind him, it’s a race to forget for Team 7 Illusions as his two outside starters, First Class Male and Tsali take the last two spots.
About The Winner: Motor City, trained by First Class Stables and ridden to victory by J S Rocco Jr, is a three year old colt by General Motors, and it out of Lil Choir Girl. He was bred in Louisiana as a yearling by Hawthorneshorsefarm, and acquired by First Class Stable unraced in January 2017 via a $30.000 private sales transaction. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fourth in nine starts, and his second Graded win. It’s also his second KYD prep win, having also taken the Lecomte in January at FG. His career earnings are now $797.200.
Time: :231 :47 1:11 1:412
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 5 – 8 Paid 187.60
$1 Trifecta: 5 – 8 – 3 Paid 2,401.40
Scratched: Dirty Brazilian, Lg The Menace, Caydens Camel
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES