Jeff's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes Preview (Race 11)
Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Saturday, February 26th, 2022 (6:22 pm et)
#1 Kavod (12/1), trained by Chris Hartman & ridden by Francisco Arrieta
Has finished first or second (11-3-1-0) in four of 11 career starts, earning $293,000. Was a distant fourth (beaten 5 1/2 lengths) in the Southwest Stakes last month. The class rating and speed figures don't jump off the page. The inside post is not ideal either, although Kavod won from post #1 in a minor stakes sprint race at Oaklawn Park last December. At the end of the day, this distance seems too long for this horse. Toss!
#2 Newgrange (9/5), trained by Bob Baffert & ridden by John Velazquez
A lock to be post time chalk. Has done nothing wrong. Three races, three wins, with earnings of $552,000. Won the Southwest Stakes here at Oaklawn by 1 1/4 lengths over Barber Road. Improving speed figures (Equibase) in three straight. From an 89 maiden score to a 98 last time out. Fastest horse in field with a 93 Equibase figure. Newgrange wants to go long. This trainer/jockey combo win 51% together for ROI of +50%. Won't be eligible for Kentucky Derby Points, but is defiantly The One to Beat and MY TOP CHOICE!
#3 Cairama (15/1), trained by Steve Asmussen & ridden by Geovanni Franco
Has finished in the money two out of four (4-1-0-1) with career earnings of $71,125. This would be a huge shocker and seems in over his head. Slow early pace, slow middle pace, slow late pace. Has never raced at Oaklawn Park. Toss!
#4 Un Ojo (12/1), trained by Ricky Courville & ridden by Ramon Vazquez
Has finished first or second (5-1-2-0) in three of five starts with career earnings of $176,321. Was a distant second in a stakes race at Aqueduct earlier this month. The speed figure came back slow (74). Un Ojo ranks 11/11 in Class and 11/11 in speed and now steps up in class. Toss!
#5 Texas Red Hot (12/1), trained by Randy Morse & ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr.
This Colt by Texas Red has finished first or second (5-2-1-0) in three of five starts with career earnings of $133,670. Finished 10th (14 1/2 lengths behind Smile Happy) in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Gold Cup. Has a bullet work (1/53) going 5f in 1.00.2 on Feb. 19th at OP. I just don't see this horse being anywhere close based on his forum, class, and speed figures. This is another horse you can completely Toss!
#6 Stellar Tap (10/1), trained by Steve Asmussen & ridden by Cristian Torres
This Tapit bred Colt has finished in-the-money two of four starts with career earnings of $71,292. Has not won since breaking his maiden at Saratoga last August. Finished third in his most recent start, an allowance race at Fair Grounds last month. I respect the trainer and maybe he knows something. Stellar Tap does have improving speed figures in his past three races and is bred to go long. Has never raced at Oaklawn Park. Running off Lasix is a bit of a concern. Use underneath!
#7 Ben Diesel (6/1), trained by Dallas Stewart & ridden by Jon Court
Has finished in the money (4-1-0-1) two of four starts with career earnings of $164,110. Finished third (beaten 2 3/4 lengths) behind winner Newgrange in the Southwest Stakes. Has enough early speed to gain position into the first turn. Uneven work tap is a concern though. I would not bet this horse to win at anything less than 20/1. Toss!
#8 Chasing Time (8/1), trained by Steve Asmussen & ridden by Tyler Gaffalione
Not This Time is proving to be a very good sire. His son (Epicenter) won the Remsen Stakes last week. Chasing Time has finished first or second (5-2-2-0) in four of five starts with career earnings of $179,460. Two starts at Oaklawn Park have produced a win and second. I like this horse, but might get bet down unjustly due to the Myracehorse ownership group. I do not own any shares of Chasing Time. This is a major step up in class and will need to gain 8-10 points from his last speed figure. Is more than capable of doing just that. Extra boost if the track comes up wet. Win Contender!
#9 Barber Road (9/2), trained by Alexander Ortiz & ridden by Reylu Gutierez
Has finished first or second in (6-2-3-0) in five of six career starts with earnings of $300,720. Strong contender after finishing second to Newgrange (1 1/4 lengths) in the Southwest Stakes. Ranks 10/11 in class rating. Very tough to win this type of race. Fast works and likes Oaklawn are two positives. Getting his regular jockey back could help, although Barber Road has finished second in three straight races. The class and speed figures don't excite me, but this horse could improve especially on a wet track. Use Underneath!
#10 Ethereal Road (12/1), trained by D. Wayne Lukas & ridden by Luis Contreras
Has one win and one third in four career starts, earning $63,545. This Colt by Quality Road enters off a MSW win at Oaklawn Park last month, earning a career best 88 Equibase speed figure. Has never raced from post #10 or higher. Benefited from a ground-saving trip from post #2 last time out. This is a major step up in class and will run off Lasix for the first time. Toss!
#11 Dash Attack (8/1), trained by Kenneth McPeek & ridden by David Cohen
The local horse might attract some attention. Has two wins and one fifth place finish in three career starts ($227,940). That clunker was the Southwest Stakes, finishing a distance fifth by 7 3/4 lengths. No horse has been working better and would certainly benefit if the track comes up wet. Respect the trainer that wins 22% in stakes races. Has never run from an outside post, but does own the highest class rating (95) and second-highest speed figure (90). Use Underneath!
Jeff's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes Selection
Play #2 Newgrange (9/5) to win & place!
#8 Chasing Time (8/1) (Place)
#6 Stellar Tap (10/1) (Show)
#11 Dash Attack (8/1) (fourth)