Friday, March 18, 2011

Rebel, Rebel

oaklawn winners circleIn the last dozen years, the Rebel Stakes (G-2) at Oaklawn Park has produced the heroes of four Triple Crown Races. All four continued on to  achieve Eclipse Awards as Champions. A fifth winner of the Rebel, Lawyer Ron, didn’t win a Triple Crown race, but he did dominate the Travers Stakes (G-1) commonly referred to as the Mid-summer Derby. Lawyer Ron also went on to earn Champion status.

This year’s edition of the Rebel Stakes gathers 13 colts all trying to prove something different. Some will attempt to carry their speed two turns, while others will get a class check. The one thing they must confirm is whether or not they belong on the Triple Crown trail. ArchArchArch Photo Coady

#1 ARCHARCHARCH (Arch – Woodman’s Dancer, by Woodman) has a stamina oriented pedigree. One would think that with the blood of two  European Turf Champions coursing through her veins that ArchArchArch’s dam would relish racing over the lawn.  Instead, she made her career as a California sprinter, placing in the Las Flores Handicap (G-3) and A Gleam Handicap (G-2). After his win in the Southwest (G-3), Archarcharch posted two strong works. The Fires barn is 14% with back-to-back wins.

Alternation Photo Coady #2 ALTERNATION ( Distorted Humor – Alternate, by Seattle Slew) has a beautiful stamina pedigree. Alternation’s dam won 6 of 26 starts and placed 11 times. She was a true route horse, winning two stakes races at 1 3/16 miles and placing in the Bewitch Stakes (G-3). All three of her foals to race are winners, but as yet they haven't won a stakes race.  Alternation’s dam is also a half sister to the good sire Peaks And Valleys, who was a multiple graded stakes winner from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/8 miles despite having been sired by a sprinter (Mt. Livermore). Alternation's 4th dam is a blue hen, adding more quality. Alternation's been brought along the right way. He's been allowed to develop his talent in his own time and to build confidence and experience. Alternation has fired two strong bullets and keeps improving.

#3 DREAMINOFTHEWIN (Successful Appeal – Dreamingatdaybreak, by Grand Slam) has the pedigree of a middle distance horse (1 1/16 to 1 1/8 miles). Two of his three siblings are winners and his unraced dam is a half sister to Dalhart, who won the Rebel in 1993. She’s also a half sister to the dam of multiple graded stakes winners Geri and A.P. Arrow, while another half sister produced The Program, who was briefly on the Derby trail last year. Dreaminofthewin has been best of the rest in his last two starts behind Alternation and Caleb's Posse. He’s a solid type, but takes on stronger foes here. pickos Pride

#4 PICKO'S PRIDE (Cactus Ridge – Cayce Lady, by Wavering Monarch) has a speed over stamina pedigree. Despite his dam’s stamina oriente d pedigree, she spent her career as a sprinter and won once in nine attempts. Picko's Pride’s full brother won once in eight tries and placed twice. There’s no blacktype in the first two generations of this distaff family, but a daughter of the third dam produced the multiple graded stakes winner Bishop Court Hill. Picko’s Pride came from far back in the Southwest and gained fourth place after being blocked. It was a good effort and he’s breezed back strong. The McLean barn is 29% with horses making their third start off of a layoff.

JPsGusto2 Benoit #5 J P'S GUSTO (Successful Appeal – Call her Magic, by Caller I.D.) has a classy but sprint oriented pedigree. He is a full brother to two stakes placed runners and his stakes winning is a half sister to the dam of the Champion Proud Spell. J P's Gusto had a tough time in the Southwest Stakes, but the tenacious colt managed to grab second place and was gaining on Archarcharch at the end. 1 1/16 miles appears to be four steps beyond his limit as he’s placed but never won at this distance against top company. The Factor2  Photo Benoit

#6 THE FACTOR (War Front – Grayciousness, by Miswaki) is bred to be speedy. His sire and damsire are graded stakes winning sprinters, and  his dam is a half-sister to the graded stakes placed sire Chief Seattle. The pretty gray colt has run them off of their feet in his last two races, but gets a tough test here. He’s recorded the typically fast works of a Baffert trainee.

calebs Posse #7 CALEB'S POSSE (Posse – Abbey’s Missy, by Slewacide) has a pedigree loaded with speed and shares the same damsire as Funnycide. His dam failed to win in three starts, but she is a ¾ sister to the multiple stakes winning warrior Mr. Ross. Caleb's Posse has done well against listed stakes competition, but had a rough time in the Southwest Stakes. His last two works were decent.Saratoga Red Photo Jessica M

#8 SARATOGA RED (Eddington – Sigh Of Relief, by Siphon) has the pedigree of a middle distance horse (1 1/16 to 1 1/8 miles). His half brother is  a winner. His dam won once in 15 tries, but she is a half sister to Haskell winner King Glorious. Saratoga Red was stubbornly on the winning end of a maiden duel last time out. His work pattern is live, but the Lukas barn has dwindled to 3% stakes wins and this is a tough spot for Saratoga Red.

Sway Away#9 SWAY AWAY (Afleet Alex – Seattle Shimmer, by Seattle Slew) the farther they go, the better for Sway Away as both his sire and damsire are  Classic winners and his second damsire Summer Squall was also a Classic winner. Although his second dam is a minor stakes winner, this distaff family is modest. Sway Away was rocketing down the stretch and just missed nailing The Factor in the San Vicente. The colt gets the distance his pedigree calls for and the Boinde barn get 21% winners with stakes horses.

Elite Alex #10 ELITE ALEX (Afleet Alex – Catch The Moment, by Unbridled) is by a Champion Classic winner out of a mare by a Champion Classic winner, you can't get much better than that.   His immediate distaff family has little blacktype, but the third dam was stakes placed and her daughters produced some nice winners, included recent Santa Ynez winner California Nectar. Elite Alex had excuses in his last two contests, but still finished in the money. The added distance should be to his liking and if he can stay out of trouble, he could reach the wire first.

#11 GLINT (Sharp Humor – Glimmer, by Deputy Minister) has miler speed over strong stamina in his pedigree. His second crop sire’s offspring are mainly sprinters, but he does have a winner at 1 1/16 miles. Glint’s four half siblings are winners and he’s the first stakes winner for his unraced dam. His second and third dams are stakes winners and this family produced Super Derby winner Awe Inspiring. Glint was third in his first off of a layoff and should be sharper today. The Gorder barn knows how to get them ready, as they score with 20% of their horses in their initial route races.

#12 BLUEGRASS JAM (Bluegrass Cat – Strawberry Way – by Strawberry Road) is by a strong second-crop stallion. His sire has a handful of winners at 1 1/16 miles and going farther shouldn’t pose a problem. Bluegrass Jam’s dam placed in sprint stakes and she’s a half sister to the graded stakes winner Bold Start. The second dam Dorky is also a stakes winner. Bluegrass Jam showed progression in his last couple of races, but failed against optional claimers.

J W Blue Photo Coady #13 J W BLUE (Sky Mesa – Kentucky Storm, by Dynaformer) has a speed over stamina pedigree. Most of his sire’s offspring are sprinter/milers, but he does have winners at 1 1/16 miles and a couple have placed going longer. J W Blue’s dam won four of nine starts, including a listed stakes over the turf and dirt. She’s a half sister to Wood Memorial hero Adonis. Two of JW Blues three half siblings are winners and one is a stakes winner. J W Blue conquered allowance company, including Bluegrass Jam, over this track and distance last time out. His subsequent works have been very strong and the Tony Dutrow barn gets an eye-catching 32% winners next time out.


How the track is playing: Overall, the track plays fair, but front runners at this distance have a slight edge, and runners from the inside posts have a definite advantage. The day will be cloudy, but only 10% rain in the forecast so the track should be fast.

In a large field, it’s all about the trip. Our goal is to pick the horses that will hit the board, which aren’t necessarily the most talented horses. THE FACTOR is the overwhelming speed of the race. If he gets to the front and can slow things down, he could steal it from the rest. The problem is, he’s never run a slow race. SARATOGA RED may try to put pressure on THE FACTOR. If this happens, the race can set up for a horse coming from off of the pace. ALTERNATION keeps improving and should be able to find a decent running position due to his post. SWAY AWAY finally gets some distance. He’ll be running from the back of the pack and will need to stay out of trouble if he’s to have any chance. Ditto for ELITE ALEX, but with those outside posts they might not be able to catch a break. ARCHARCHARCH can sit directly behind the speed and get first run on the stalkers. JP’S GUSTO is always right there and never backs down from a fight, so it’s hard to leave him off the selections. Use him in the exotics. PICKO'S PRIDE was 19 lengths out of it at the start of the Southwest but closed to only 3 ¾ lengths of the leader without getting a clean run. He’s making his second start off of a layoff and will probably be closer to the pace. He’ll be overlooked and if he can grab third or fourth, he could spice up your tickets.

#2 ALTERNATION – longshot pick





The Turk said...

I'm looking at PP's and Alternation is looking very interesting. Good Luck!

Laurie Ross, Iron Maiden Thoroughbreds said...

Pity he had to scratch. He did look like he had a shot to finish in the money.