by Jerry Shottenkirk
March 16, 2018
Since 2010, Bob Baffert trainees have won six of the eight editions of Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes, and he’s favored to win another on Sunday as Solomini heads into the 1 1-16th race as the 3-2 morning line favorite.
Baffert’s Rebel dominance began with Lookin At Lucky (2010) and continued with The Factor (2011), Secret Circle (2012), Hoppertunity (2014), American Pharoah (2015) and Cupid (2016). The good news for rival operations is that only American Pharoah from that list went on to win the Arkansas Derby. Bodemeister won in 2012 without winning the Rebel.
What makes the Rebel so targeted is that is has a $900,000 purse, in addition to being a prep for the Arkansas Derby.
The Rebel anchors the Pick 4, and when you’ll play it, you’ll decide whether to single Solomini. On this selected ticket, he is not. The single on this card comes on the other end with Mitole. He was upset as the 2-to-5 favorite in the by Bourne in Nixa but should be able to made amends for trainer Asmussen. Should Mitole bomb in the optional claimer race, there’s plenty of time for you to make up for it, especially with a Pick 3 to close out the card.
Solomini is the deserving favorite. He’s 1 of 4 but two of his three losses were in Grade 1 race. The Curlin colt hasn’t start since Dec. 9, when he was first under the wire but was disqualified and placed third in Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity.
Title Ready won an allowance race at Oaklawn in his only two-turn attempt and the More Than Ready colt from the Asmussen barn moves into the stakes ranks for the first time. He was ineffective in sprints and is only getting better with distance. Another Asmussen charge – Combatant – also is worthy of a spot on the Pick 4 ticket. The Scat Daddy colt was second in the Smarty Jones and G3 Southwest and he has an adjustable running style.
Here’s the suggested Pick 4 ticket:
Race 7: #9 Mitole.
Race 8: #2 Hedge Fund, #4 Untrapped, #5 Dazzling Gem, #11 Multiplier.
Race 9: #1 Actress, #2 Farrell, #3 Terra Promessa, #4 Tiger Moth, #7 Martini Glass, #8 Blue Prize.
Race 10: #1 Title Ready, #3 Solomini, #10 Combatant.
50-cent Pick 4: 9 with 2-4-5-11 with 1-2-3-4-7-8 with 1-3-10 ($36).