Well, if it’s GII Rebel Stakestime at Oaklawn Park then it must be Bob Baffert time again as again “Sir Bob” sent out his prize 3yo B/C Juvy Sprint champ in Secret Circle for a 2nd appearance here at Oaklawn Park and came away with a 3/4 length win in today’s $500,000, GII Rebel Stakes, covering the 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.3 over a “fast”Oaklawn main!
Coming a heart-pounding and rapidly closing 2ndwas everyone’s favorite 3yo doormat in Optimizer who would have won this race in just several more strides. 3rdwent to a too quick on the draw again Scatman back 1 1/2 length more with Jake Moback another 1 1/2 length to round out the super for you here today.
Also ran were: Cyber Secret, Najjaar, Adirondack King, Sabercat, Pee H Dee, Reckless Jerry, Atigun, Unbridled’s Note as Ring Me Up was an early scratch!
We’ll have more say about this contest when we do our Derby Trail Diaryposting on Monday but for now, Uncle Bobshould enjoy his GII Rebel Stakes victory quickly as his prized 3yo in Secret Circlehit the wall in deep stretch here today.
We don’t think Secret Circlewill want any part of a 1 1/8 mile,GI contest anytime soon, but with already over $400k in Kentucky Derby Graded Stakes earnings a derby berth for him may already be all locked up anyway!
Oh and look for Optimzer next time out as his finish here today in this GII Rebel Stakes is what a winning Derby finish should look like, a Bat out of Hell, take no prisoners, bones-breaking stretch drive that will bring the “Churchill Faithful” to their collective feet and it is the first time this old handicapper has seen that Animal Kingdom like move from any 3yo this Derby Trail season!
A full field of 13-top 3yo’s was drawn for this Arkansas Derby prep as that race is scheduled for Apr. 14th!
Headlining this GII tussle is Sabercat, with a first out since winning the GIIIDelta Downs Jackpottilt last Dec. where Sabercat took home the winner’s share of that Million dollar purse that put him the slow boat to the Derby Trail this year.
Making a first out in a $500,000 GII 3yo test wouldn’t be our first thought for a 2012 debut and that Delta Downs Jackpot win wasn’t a very speedy affair at 1:46.62 either!
So Sabercat has been idle for 3 months now so the winter is still on his bones and he’ll has shake it off fast on Saturday because he’ll be the target horse in here!
The Bob Baffert’sSecret Circle the co-winners of the GIII Southwest Stakes last month is back and stretching out the extra 1/16 here on Saturday! It shouldn’t be any problem for him as his pedigree shows! Baffert must have plans for his other GIII Southwest winner Castaway as he has been redirected elsewhere!
Scatman, who gave Secret Circle so much trouble in their half of the Southwest Stakes last month is also coming back after fading just a bit in the shadow of the line here last month that allowed Secret Circle the win. Scatman only needs to grow a wee bit more off that lose to be in the mix here again on Saturday!
Oh and if you are looking for Gemologisthere, well Uncle Todd will run him instead in a Friday allowance down at the friendlier confines of Gulfstream against Currency Swap!
Picks are – 3,8,7,12 or 11 bx’d exacta with the 10,4,9 mixed in to your super play!
So a big field, with a big purse is coming this Saturday in the lone Derby Trail outing of the weekend in the $500,000, GII Rebel Stakeswhere the winner probably locks-up another 2012 Kentucky Derby berth on the first Saturday in May!