The 2011 Rebel Stakes is shaping up to be the
most contentious Kentucky Derby prep field to date. You can make an argument for as many as six or seven in here
for the win spot. In terms of
quality, it rates right up there with HRN’s top-rated San Felipe and Risen Star
In favor of The Factor is the general lack of
horses with a decided early distribution of energy. It is clear that D Wayne Lukas’s Saratoga Red will be sent to challenge The Factor directly to his outside. An absolute key to the outcome of this race is just how much
The Factor will be harassed early
on. Though he’s not the ratable
type, if left on a lone, controlling lead, he’s a clear win contender despite his
running a route for the first time in the Rebel.
Sway Away, the fast closing
runner-up to The Factor in the San Vincente, also tries a route of
ground for the first time. He’s bred to go long but I can’t help but think that
he’ll do his best running sprinting or going one-turn miles. This will be a great test for this
lightly raced sprint closer.
If you watch the replay of
the Southwest Stakes, you could make
the case that J.P.’s Gusto was
clearly the best. Coming into the
stretch, he had to wait behind a wall of horses and then, once free, steady
along the rail as the winner drifted in a bit. While very competitive among these and at this distance, I
still have big questions about J.P.s
Gusto ability to get the classic distances.
This one has the feel of a chaos
race in which unlikely sorts step up.
Celeb’s Posse and Bluegrass Jam strike me as bomber types
that could have the fans tearing up a lot of tickets.
breakdown the Rebel and assign our exclusive HRN Super Screener Quality Rating:
Oaklawn Park – G2 Rebel Stakes 1 1/16 Miles Dirt
Size = 13
of Graded Stakes Winners: 3
of Graded Stakes Placed: 6
Pace Par: First Call = 94;
Second Call = 104
Pace: First Call = 96; Second
Call = 103
Distribution Profile of Field: Stacked
toward off-the-pace and closer types
Line Favorite: J.P.’s Gusto
(CURRENT HRN RANKING: #18)
Top Three Picks: J.P.’s Gusto, The Factor, Alternation
Bomber Pick: Celeb’s Posse
HRN SUPER SCREENER QUALITY RATING = B+
Notes: Top finishers of the San Vincente and Southwest Stakes face off in
a deep, tough-to-separate field.
The Factor owns the pace.
Can he rate and get the distance?
Will we see the devastating late turn of foot from Sway Away or does he
flatten out as he tries a route for the first time?
Come back to this blog
Tuesday and we’ll take a look at this prep to see if trips, biases and
pace/speed rating outcomes will alter our HRN
SUPER SCREENER QUALITY RATING.
Go now to HRN's 2011
Kentucky Derby Contenders Power Rankings to see how the fans are rating
contenders and cast your own votes! Kentucky Derby 2011 Contenders.
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