$900k and 50 Kentucky Derby Points are on the line at Oaklawn Park on Saturday with 11 entered for the Grade 2 Rebel. 3-2 on the morning line is SOLOMINI for Bob Baffert who has dominated three year old races at Oaklawn in previous years. SOLOMINI was recently partially sold to the powerful Coolmore stable from Ireland, but stick in the same colors of the Zayat Stable.
SOLOMINI ships over from California for his season debut after tackling the best horses out there in three straight Grade 1 events. He has laid down bullet drills in two of his last three morning drills, and is sent out by a trainer who hits at almost 30% off a layoff. Both MAGNUM MOON and CURLIN’s HONOR are unbeaten after their first two races, but only MAGNUM MOON has had a race around two turns.
SPORTING CHANCE should be able to move forward off his first start as a three year old, which was a good 3rd in the Southwest. He came back with three drills since the February 19th race, the second of which was a mile. Good to see John Velazquez attracted to ride as regular rider Saez stays on MAGNUM MOON.
COMBATANT has been the runner up in his last three, and could get a piece again. ZING ZANG, HIGH NORTH and BODE’S MAKER should be rolling late.
If SOLOMINI is ready to fire off the bench, he could be tough to catch. If he isn’t, there are plenty of others in here who could spring the upset. The Rebel goes as Race 10, at 5:09 MST.
The only other prep this weekend is the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park. There is only 20 points going to the winner of the Grade 3, $200k affair. Good luck finding a horse to lean on in here, as this is wide open as it gets. CASH CALL KITTEN could offer some value at 12-1 on the morning line. He is unbeaten after two trips to the track, both of them on turf, and both at Gulfstream Park. He was saddled with the outside 10 and 11 posts in both of those tries and was still able to easily overcome them. With his affinity for grass, he should have no problem with the synthetic surface at Turfway. HAZIT was bet down to 4/5 in his latest, and was beat at Tampa Bay Downs. He has never tries turf before, but is by top turf sire War Front, and the mom Rumor had no problem with synthetic surfaces placing in graded events. BLENDED CITIZEN ships over from California after chasing around the good filly Paved and adds blinkers for this try. RIDE A COMET is a winner of his last two, but drew the outside post in the field of 11.
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