• La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 4 days ago
  • Rubilinda (6-5) finds the wire just in time to take the Pebbles Stakes.Posted 4 days ago
  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 4 days ago
  • Bolt d'Oro is the 12-1 favorite in the current Las Vegas line for Kentucky Derby 2018.Posted 7 days ago
  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 10 days ago
  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 10 days ago
  • Flameaway (5-1) wins a three-horse photo finish in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at a wet Keeneland.Posted 10 days ago
  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 10 days ago
  • Separationofpowers (9-5) impresses in the Frizette at Belmont Park.Posted 10 days ago
  • Roy H (4-5) lives up to favoritism in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.Posted 11 days ago
Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
12th Crown

Rebel Stakes Day in Hot O'Springs

Travelers to Oaklawn Park for this afternoon's Rebel Stakes are in for quite a treat with a large festive crowd, great horses and even green beer. It is always especially fun when the Rebel falls on March 17th since the town also boasts the "World's shortest St. Patrick's parade" just a couple of miles north of the track on Central Avenue.  But back to the racing -- a very deep field that may appear "chalky" at first glance with Secret Circle and Scatman coming back for another clash, but the morning line reflects the hidden talent lurking in this field; Sabercat 5-1, Najjaar and Adirondack King 6-1 and then Scatman at 8-1. Bettors get ready!
There is a little to like about nearly all of the 13 going postward (including the James McIngvale - Chris Richard entry), but I will mention my main "markings" from the DRF after a late night of studying. Unbridled's Note scratched from a NX2 Allowance Friday where he was 2-1 morning line favorite to tackle the big boys. Asmussen is often deadly with these late blooming horses, lest we forget Nehro just last year.  His last race was a toss in my book with the poor start and I expect him to show more speed from the one hole, but this is part of the reason I can't recommend him. 
Veteran trainer Lynn Whiting has been unusually vocal on the poor tactics Channing Hill used on Cyber Secret in the Southwest and has replaced him with Robby Albarado for Oaklawn track owner, Charles Cella. Speaking of trainer/jockey combination, Borel often rides Mr. Cella's "A" horses but chose to stick with Dan Peitz trained Najjaar.  If you believe (like I do) that the pace will be at least equal to the fast division of the Southwest (46.3 half mile) with the addded sixteenth of a mile this son of Jazil could get there late. He is a beautiful specimen and looks the part of a real "Derby" horse. 
I am flipping my stance from the Southwest on two horses I think are moving in opposite directions - out with Reckless Jerry and in with Jake Mo. After flashing speed the first two distance races (both stakes) and tiring, Allen Milligan allowed Oaklawn's leading rider Cliff Berry to take the son of Giacomo off the pace in the Southwest. In spite of the slower pace division, he rallied nicing while splitting horses to make up a bit of ground on Castaway. I think the added distance will only help his causes today at 20-1 on the morning line. Reckless Jerry had every chance to pounce on the turn yet raced evenly to the wire. Perhaps his Cactus Ridge sire distance limitations is catching up with him. Atigun and Adirondack King are also confirmed closers if you anticipate the hot pace.  Note Atigun's under the radar sire, Istan, also produced LeComte stakes winner Mr. Bowling two races back at Fair Grounds. Not sure which one will get the best trip, but I'll take the closer Borel is on!
The 8th race is the Grade 3 Azeri where Absinthe Minded will try to protect her turf for D. Wayne Lukas from Fair Grounds invader Joyful Victory. She's All In may be in upset mode. Happy racing to all and looking forward to a fun day of racing at the Spa of the South. Very light rain this morning but the sun is trying to peak through and I fully expect a fast track and lots of green at Oaklawn today (hopefully at the windows as well!).


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Older Comments about Rebel Stakes Day in Hot O'Springs...

And even money Secret Circle smokes the field. Any talk that they will be changing names to Baffert Park? LOL.
Secret Circle lays over this field big time. The rest are running for second money. Put the 2/3/4/11/ behind for the tri and super
Morning Line odds mean NOTHING
Adirondak King could possibly sitting on a big performance in the Rebel, 3rd race back from break, maybe he wont have to weave thru traffic and go 5 wide on the final turn. 6-1 is a pretty big underlay as far as I see it.
Adirondack King did run against a very fast pace, but couldn't keep up...Projects to be a bit far back in this one too, and an outside shot
Loving that everyone likes a different horse in the Rebel ... I should get terrific odds on Adirondack King!
Fyi: Ring it Up was scratched due to fever, so you no longer get an entry with Pee H Dee (the stronger horse).

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Meet Eric Kords
Eric is a historian of thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas and across the country. He has witnessed in person nearly every significant race that has occurred at Oaklawn Park since the mid-1980’s including such recent Eclipse champions as Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Lookin at Lucky, Summer Bird and Curlin, classic performers including Afleet Alex, Smarty Jones, Victory Gallop, Lil’ E Tee, Pine Bluff and Grindstone, top handicap champions Cigar, Lawyer Ron and Best Pal, and finally Distaff champions the likes of Azeri, Bayakoa, Paseana, Escena and Ginger Punch.  
Eric has also attended the most historically significant races across the country including the 2010 Breeders' Cup featuring Zenyatta’s epic finale, 2008 Breeders' Cup featuring Curlin’s final race, the Eclipse clinching victory by Rachel Alexandra against the boys in the 2009 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, 2010 Preakness Stakes won by Eclipse champion Lookin at Lucky, 2004 Belmont Stakes where Smarty Jones was denied the Triple Crown by Birdstone, 1996 Pacific Classic at Del Mar where Cigar’s 16 consecutive win streak ended at the hooves of Dare and Go, Jim Dandy Stakes and Travers Stakes at Saratoga, Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park and Summit of Speed Festival at Calder just to name the most memorable.  Eric now resides in Dallas, TX and counts Oaklawn Park, The Fair Grounds and Lone Star Park as his “home tracks.” He has recently entered the thoroughbred owner ranks with the launch of his Saturday Racing Syndicate.

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