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Kentucky Derby 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Rebel Stakes 2017: Odds and Analysis


With a purse of $900,000 and plenty of recent Triple Crown success stemming from Arkansas, it should come as no surprise that Saturday's Rebel Stakes has attracted the most eclectic group so far of any 2017 Kentucky Derby prep. There are interesting options coming from California, Florida, New Orleans, as well as local Hot Springs runners. There is also plenty of speed which could set the table for one of the come from behind types in the 1 1/16-mile affair. Fifty Kentucky Derby qualifying points make it almost a certainty that the winner will be in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. Without further ado, let's look at the eleven-horse field in order of my preference, including projected odds.


7) American Anthem (5-2) - The most lightly raced horse in the field is also the most likely winner, in my opinion. The son of Bodemeister looks to follow in his sire's hoofprints. His sire came to Oaklawn Park five years ago as a lightly raced Californian, and romped home in the Arkansas Derby for trainer Bob Baffert. No doubt this one is still learning, but he should have gotten plenty out of his first two races, in which he proved tough and talented. A speed duel in here could be his undoing, so it will be up to Mike Smith to work out the trip. The Sham runner-up looks like he could be any kind, and this may well be his coming out party. Ready to Step Up


5) Untrapped (8-1) - After a pair of second-place finishes in New Orleans, this Steve Asmussen-trained colt should be ready to fire his best shot. He's run well in every start, and looks primed to make another move forward. He is also likely to see more early pace for his late run this time. There are plenty of horses that could run big in the Rebel, but for the odds, this one may be the best bet to run a strong race. Running Late


8) Silver Dust (15-1) - Taking a bit of a leap of faith with this longshot, but having liked what I saw from his last fall at Churchill Downs, I have a feeling that there is more there than his fourth-place finish in the Southwest. This will be the second time over the track for the well-bred son of Tapit, and with a nice race set-up, I suspect we will see much better from him this time. Live Longshot


2) Uncontested (8-1) - As impressive as he looked over a wet track in the Smarty Jones, he was equally disappointing in the stretch run of the Southwest. Something seemed to go wrong for him there, as Channing Hill looked to have plenty of horse on the far turn. While I still believe the talent is there, and I expect him to bounce back, he might have a tough time with all the pace pressure here. Better Than Last


11) Lookin at Lee (10-1) - Another who figures to benefit from a contentious early pace, this son of Lookin at Lucky still needs to prove he can beat graded stakes horses. He's had plenty of chances already, but has run well enough to advance hope. While I'm still hopeful he can do that, I think it may be more likely at longer distances. Having said that, he looks like a good bet to fill out the exotics. Picks up the Pieces


6) Malagacy (4-1) - It's hard to say how good this son of Shackleford is. He's romped in both starts for trainer Todd Pletcher in South Florida, but both came sprinting, and against lesser competition. His trainer is on record saying that he might be best sprinting. It's worth a shot seeing how he does around two-turns, but considering the amount of speed in here, it looks like he found a tough spot for his first route. Unbeaten and Untested


10) Royal Mo (9-2) - There are some awfully good horses near the back end of my selections, this being one of them. The big son of Uncle Mo has certainly improved for trainer John Shirreffs, but this one seems like a much tougher spot than his Lewis win. If he can sit off the pace a little early, I think his chances improve, but I am willing to take a stand against him as one of the race favorites. Dangerous Shipper


4) Petrov (8-1) - Speaking of having good horses low on the list, how about this son of Flatter? He has been very consistent in his four starts, but I have just not seen enough to think he can beat a field like this. He had his chance in both the Smarty Jones and Southwest, and could not stick with the winner. This affair is only that much tougher. Waters Getting Deeper


3) Sonneteer (30-1) - Still a maiden after eight lifetime starts for trainer Keith Desormeaux, he's actually finished in the money five times, and has run against some good horses in California. Having said that, it's hard to recommend the late runner too much against this deep field, considering his inability to beat maidens. Still a Maiden


1) Silver Bullion (20-1) - Somebody has to be listed way down here near the bottom of this deep edition of the Rebel, and despite a promising beginning to his career, I cannot quite see him being able to step up this much, this early in his career. Having said that, the son of Pioneerof the Nile looks like a horse with a future. Stepping Up


9) Appalachian Gem (30-1) - The good news is he is coming off a sharp win over the Oaklawn Park oval. The bad news is that he will have a hard time seeing that form translate against this bunch. Another horse who could develop into a nice horse, but Not Today






 

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Meet Brian Zipse 


Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

  
As Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of Directors of The Exceller Fund. Brian also consults for leading contest site Derby Wars, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

  

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