Rebel Stakes Betting Odds & Preview: Will Bob Baffert’s Nadal Hold Off the Field?

Credit:

Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Trainer Bob Baffert.

Rebel Stakes Betting Odds

  • Location: Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Purse: $1 million
  • Distance: 1 1/16 miles
  • Post time: 6:23 p.m. ET
  • TV coverage: Fox Sports 2

Everything has pretty much gone quiet around the sports world, but the road to the Kentucky Derby continues Saturday with the running of the $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

The Grade II race is worth 50 points to the winner and a place in the starting gate for the annual “Run for the Roses” on May 2 at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Ky. The runner-up will get 20 Derby points, followed by 10 points for third and five for fourth.

The day’s racing coverage will begin at 3 p.m. ET on America’s Day at the Races on Fox Sports 2, with post time for the Rebel scheduled for 6:23 p.m. ET.

Several top 3-year-old horses and their connections are taking a shot in Oaklawn’s featured race, highlighted by the entry of California shipper Nadal. The Bob Baffert-trained charge has won both of his career starts out west and opened as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

Baffert has won the Rebel six times during his illustrious career, with his most memorable triumph coming with 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh.

Let’s take a quick look at the entire field:

1 — Nadal (5-2): The race favorite triumphed in his maiden debut back in January and followed up that convincing victory in the San Vicente Stakes ai Santa Anita Park. Most impressive was the fact he improved on his Equibase Speed Figures in those wins, going from 102 to 107 in those sprint races. Cream of the crop.

2 — Excession (30-1): Trainer Steve Asmussen has three horses in the field and this is the weakest of the group. Tyler Baze will ride this horse, who finished seventh and eighth in his only two stakes races. Look elsewhere.

3 — Basin (3-1): Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will climb aboard the colt, who is making his 3-year-old campaign debut. Basin won the Runhappy Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Race Course back in September, but has been on the shelf since. Basin should be part of the pace at the start for Asmussen and could be in the mix.

4 — Silver Prospector (7-2): The most-battled tested horse in the field, Asmussen’s best chance to win the Rebel has run eight times so far in his career. He is coming off a win over this course in the Southwest Stakes, which was the second stakes win of his career. Both of those wins have come around two turns and he boasts a win over the Oaklawn Park course. Live contender.

5 — No Parole (8-1): The Louisiana shipper won his last three starts by a combined 34 lengths, but looks to be up against it here. Expect him to go to the front at the start and battle Nadal and Basin for the early lead. Probably in too deep.

6 — Three Technique (7-2): Trainer Jeremiah Englehart sends out his contender, who gets Luis Saez in the reins. Saez, who recently won the $20 million Saudi Cup aboard Maximum Security, has a mount who has been laying the weeds and is primed for a big effort. He needs things to set up for him, but finding the winner’s circle for the sixth time in his career is not out of the realm of possibility.

7 — Coach Bahe (30-1): The longest shot on the board and rightfully so. He enters this race of a maiden score, but this is a whole different level of competition. The addition of Lasix could improve his chances.

8 — American Theorem (6-1): The bloodlines are with this horse, who is the son of American Pharaoh. Another one who seems to be up against it, but his family lineage will generate some action at the betting windows.

The Plays 

Nadal has never faced horses of this caliber, but he is the class of the field. Baffert’s top horse hasn’t run this distance yet, but I don’t think it’s going to be an issue. Nadal should love being on the rail, for the simple reason that when you’re running from the No. 1 post, you are taking the shortest route around the track.

I think Nadal gets away that early pressure I anticipate from the likes of Basin and No Parole, then doesn’t look back en route to the 50 points and Kentucky Derby berth.

Play Nadal across the board (win, place and show) and look to cash in some bigger payouts with these exotic wagers:

EXACTA
$5 exacta 1/6 over 1/3/4/6

TRIFECTA
$1 trifecta box 1/3/4/6

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