As the NFL celebrates its 100 anniversary, the league welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. The Chiefs, 1.5-point favorites in Super Bowl 54, won Super Bowl 4 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings as 12-point underdogs. Their opponents, the San Francisco 49ers have won five of six Super Bowl appearances but none since a 1995 victory in Super Bowl 29.
2018 Rebel Stakes Odds, Picks
Rebel Stakes Preview and Odds
Run at 1 1/16 miles on the Oaklawn dirt, the 2018 Rebel includes two horses sitting in the top 20 on the Kentucky Derby qualifying leaderboard, and one other top contender hoping to take his first steps on the road to the Derby.
Currently in 15th place in the standings, Solomini goes into the Rebel as the morning line favorite at odds of 3-2. Trained by Bob Baffert, he has done all of his racing thus far in California and sports a record of one win, two seconds and a third in four starts. The last three of those races were all at the Grade 1 level, including the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, where he finished second behind Derby contender Good Magic.
Some would argue that he should in fact have two wins to his name, as he got to the wire first in his last start of 2017, the (G1) Los Alimitos Futurity, but was DQd down to third for being the instigator of some minor bumping in deep stretch. The declared winner of that race was McKinzie, currently sixth in the Kentucky Derby points, who himself was DQd last weekend from first to second in the (G2) San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita after a long stretch battle with current Derby favorite Bolt d'Oro.
Making his first start since the Los Alimitos in December, the only question for Solomini is if he'll be in top form after the long layoff. If that's not an issue, expect him to be very tough to beat when the field turns for home and the serious running begins.
Curlin's Honor Has Pedigree for the Distance
With Solomini on top, you might want too look for some value in the exacta and could find it in the form of Curlin's Honor (12-1) who happens to be a half-brother of Solomini as they were both sired by the great Curlin, who won the 2007 Preakness Stakes, ran second in the 2007 Belmont, third in the 2007 Kentucky Derby and won the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic.
While Curlin's Honor will be making his first try in graded-stakes company, he has been impressive in winning twice in two lifetime starts. In the first of those, he took a hard bump while going to the lead at the 1/2 mile point of the race and then prevailed in a long stretch drive. In the second he again battled through traffic trouble on a sloppy track to come from off the pace to get the win. Not only is he stepping up in class, he'll be racing past six furlongs for the first time, but his breeding suggest distance shouldn't be a problem.
Although breaking from the #10 gate presents some challenges, Combatant (8-1) who is #19 on the Derby leaderboard has shown a lot of talent in reeling off three straight runner-up finishes in his last three races, the last two of those on the Oaklawn track. While he was clearly outrun by the winner two starts back in the Smarty Jones Stakes, he appeared to take a step forward in his last and is a solid bet to get in the money once again.
Rounding out the top four, the upstart Magnum Moon has taken a lot of support and is actually second choice in the ML at 7-2. Like Curlin's Honor he only has two races so far in his career and will be stepping up in class, but he just missed the Tampa Bay Downs track record by less than a tenth of a second in his most recent win, and if he doesn't regress off that big effort he's a solid contender here.
The Rebel Stakes goes Saturday, March 17 from Oaklawn Park race track. It's the tenth and last race on the day at Oaklawn and immediately follows the (G2) Azeri Stakes for fillies and mares. Expected post time for the Rebel is 6:09 PM Central.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Title Ready (8-1)
- Curlin's Honor (12-1)
- Solomini (3-2)
- Magnum Moon (7-2)
- Higher Power (20-1)
- Pryor (30-1)
- Sporting Chance (5-1)
- High North (12-1)
- Zing Zang (20-1)
- Combatant (8-1)
- Bode's Maker (50-1)
Rebel Stakes Picks
- 1) #3 - Solomini
- 2) #2 - Curlin's Honor
- 3) #10 - Combatant
- 4) #4 - Magnum Moon
With just over six weeks to go before the running of the 2018 Kentucky Derby, the most important qualifying races are right around the corner. Bet the full slate of Derby preps and the big race itself with an account at a top-rated online racebook.
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