Big Field for Big Purse – The Rebel


  2  OP     The Rebel (GII) [KYD]

          $1,000.000      3yo         1 1/16m  Dirt         122lbs

Down the crooked roads and we pull into Hot Springs for The Rebel (GII) another step along the way to Louisville for that first Saturday in May.  I think a lot of eyes will be on this group as we continue with Filly-gate, but I’m looking for the boys to rule the cash today.  I took Come To Papa as my top choice as his speed may be a very valuable commodity with this large of a field.  Since showing early speed, he’s won the Jerome and Withers (GIII) so I look for more of the same today.  I’m looking for Ocean Of Wisdom to be in the middle of things when they turn for home.  He’s more of an off-the-pace type but other than the KEE hiccup, just doesn’t run a bad race.  I’ll take a flyer on Individuation from the big barn of Mb Stables.  He’s lightly raced but that GP win was a head turner and I think he will want more ground… he could be a big horse.

I think Lailloni is the filly to watch but the post does her no favors… and don’t get me started…  let’s just grab a wobble pop and get a good spot to watch this one! 

Here’s The Field –

   The Magic Box    Smokey Stover    Velazquez J R   117   15/1

She was rolling along, breaking maiden then taking the Pocahontas (GIII) at CD, but didn’t fire on BC Day then threw another bad one in NY-bred stakes company.  She bounced back to cruise home in an Alw race at SA in her most recent, but I just can’t get on her bandwagon here.

   Chai West    Alydar Stables    Hernandez B J Jr   122   15/1

Was zinging along with a third in the Best Pal (GII) and a win at KEE in the Breeders Futurity (GI) but it’s been a trio of bad races since.  Tenth on BC Day, ninth in the Remsen (GII) and beat one in the Lecomte (GIII)… he needs to turn it around in a big way. 

   Individuation    Mb Stables    Saez L   122   8/1

Lightly raced gelding from the big stable but he won like a race horse taking down that Alw race at GP in very quick time.  That’s two in a row and he moves onto the big stage for the first time, but you have to give him a punchers chance off of that SoFla race.  Watch him. 

   Come To Poppa    South Shore Stables    Bejarano R   122   5/2

Back to back wins at AQU should be turning heads on this one a bit.  He will run a bad race, look at the Champaign (GI) and Remsen (GII) but he just missed in the BC Juv, then won the Jerome and Wither (GIII) so he’s moving up the charts… with a bullet. 

   Demon    Wood Duck Stables    Garcia Mar   122   5/2

Very solid colt that just hasn’t run a bad race and he has a three-race win streak going where he broke maiden, won the Inaugural at TAM then took the San Vicente (GII) at SA.  Hard to say anything bad about him and he certainly is a horse that must be feared today. 

   Han Solo    Keikowin Racing    Desormeaux K J   122   10/1

Three wins from five starts, so he’s certainly proven that he knows his way to the winner’s circle, but his only stakes effort was on the grass and he never got going on that afternoon.  He has a good late kick, so I’m sure they want to avoid traffic… if so, he could be a factor.  

   Keyhunt    Arindel    Hernandez C J   122   9/2

Only a single win from this one, but the three seconds are nice, including the Gun Runner and Lecomte (GIII), both at FG.  He’s just a couple lengths from having a ton of cash in the bank, and the extra distance looks like it should fit him well. 

   Up In Smoke    Jive Inc.    Smith M E   122   9/1

He hasn’t seen the winner’s circle since taking down the DMR Futurity (GI) back in Sep, but he’s a solid type that has been close in the Champaign (GI) where he just missed, and the Smarty Jones where he was third.  He tired in that race, as in his most recent, the Southese (GIII) so he has to get back on track. 

   Bella Chica    Mb Stables    Cedillo A   117   12/1

This filly has been solid running with the gals but goes after the boys in this one.  She looked good winning the Tempted at AQU and was close in a number of graded races.  She closed like a freight train last out so this could be interesting. 

   Winstorm    Fractious    Gaffalione T   122   12/1

Broke maiden at GP, changed hands for a hefty sum and it’s been tough sledding since.  Fifth in the KY Jockey Club (GII) and eighth in the Lecomte (GIII), so he’s gotta find some of that old magic or it’s going to be another long day. 

   Shadow Police    Smokey Stover    Ferrer J C   117   6/1

Lightly raced but the well bred filly has been making some noise.  Three wins in a row including a nice closing victory in the Lecomte (GIII) vs the boys.  I guess we find out what she’s made from today. 

   Fifty Lucky               


Early Scratch

   Ocean Of Wisdom    Nakamura Stables    Carrasco V R   122   4/1

Another that has earned some focus as he wasw a fast closing second in the KY Jockey Club (GII) then came back to win the Southwest (GIII) over this surface.  He has three lifetime wins from five starts, so he certainly should be in the picture. 

   Lailoni    Arindel    Jaramillo E   117   5/1

Another filly, and she was third in that Southwest (GIII) race last out, facing the boys for the first time.  She won the BC Juv Filly (GI) and has put some serious cash in the bank.  From the gals, I’d say she’s the one that may have a shot. 

   Chain Of Command    Alabarda Stable    Ortiz I Jr   122   6/1

The barn has to be excited about this one, two starts, two wins and closed well to get that Alw victory at TAM in his most recent.  This is a step up, but he looks like a horse that is certainly ready to take on the big boys.  He could be any type. 

COZMAN    4 / 13 / 3               Willie’s Green Card    3 / 13 / 5   

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES, TC 2021-2022, THE TRIPLE CROWN

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