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Home / Articles / Jeff's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes Preview

Jeff's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes Preview

By: Jeff Hochman     Date: Feb 22, 2024
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Jeff’s Grade 2 Rebel Stakes Preview | Saturday, February 24th |

Race 11 @ Oaklawn Park | 6:23 PM E |

These are my top three contenders with no rain in the forecast. I excluded numerous horses that will have to run off Lasix from consideration.

#7 Timberlake (6/5), trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Cristian Torez

This colt is 3 years old and sired by Into Mischief. He has competed in five races, winning two and coming in second in another, and has total earnings of $475,600. Timberlake's most notable win was at the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, where he triumphed by 4 ¼ lengths on a sloppy Aqueduct track and achieved a career-best 106 Equibase speed figure. However, he struggled (head-strong) in the early stages and finished fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Juvenile on November 3rd, earning a declining speed figure of 98. Cristian Torez will be taking over for Florent Geroux as Timberlake's jockey for the first time, as Geroux had ridden him in his previous starts. It's worth noting that Timberlake has never competed over the Oaklawn surface, with no works as of February 16th. The One to Beat!

#11 Just Steel (7/2), trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Ramon Vazquez

This 3-year-old, sired by Justify, has competed in nine races, winning two, placing second in three and third in one, earning a total of $430,795. His recent performances have been impressive, including a win in the Listed Ed Brown Stakes on November 23rd, second place in the Listed Smarty Jones Stakes on New Year's Day, and another second place in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes on a muddy Oaklawn track on February 4th. Just Steel has been training exceptionally well, with two excellent (bullet) workouts in his most recent drills. He is expected to be among the frontrunners with a clean start and owns the fastest late-pace speed figure of 104.5 in the field. Additionally, he has finished second twice out of three starts at this distance. My Top Choice!

#13 Time for Truth (15/1), trained by Ron Moquett and ridden by Rafael Bejarano

This 3-year-old horse by Omaha Beach has only raced twice, both at Oaklawn, but has shown great potential to generate an upset. He finished no worse than second and earned $98,250 in prize money. In his first race on December 31st, he won a 6-furlong MSW event with a remarkable speed figure of 102. His second start was compromised, finishing second in the Listed Ozark Stakes on a muddy track. His pedigree suggests that he should be able to handle the added distance. Over the past five years, the offspring of Omaha Beach have won 19% of dirt routes and finished in the money 50% of the time. If Time for Truth gets a good start, it will likely be near the lead with Just Steel despite the outside post position. Moreover, he owns the second-fastest late-pace speed figure of 101. According to Equibase, the true odds for his morning line should be 9/1. Live Long Shot!

My Selections:

#11 Just Steel (7/2) to win, place, and show

#13 Time for Truth (15/1) to place & show

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