03/17/2011 9:17PM

Rebel Stakes day at Oaklawn Park


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DRF Coverage:
The Factor tries to stretch his speed at Oaklawn
Oaklawn to see Blind Luck, Havre de Grace clash again

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Race 1 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 1:05 CT Get PP entries »
Race 2 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 1:35 CT Get PP entries »
Race 3 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 2:05 CT Get PP entries »
Race 4 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 2:34 CT Get PP entries »
Race 5 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 3:03 CT Get PP entries »
Race 6 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 3:33 CT Get PP entries »
Race 7 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 4:03 CT Get PP entries »
Race 8 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 4:33 CT Get PP entries »
Race 9 at Oaklawn - Azeri Stakes read » Sat. 3/19 POST: 5:02 CT Get PP entries »
Race 10 at Oaklawn - Rebel Stakes read » Sat. 3/19 POST: 5:31 CT Get PP entries »
Race 11 at Oaklawn Sat. 3/19 POST: 6:01 CT Get PP entries »

Race-by-Race Analysis by Mary Rampellini
BEST BET: Bell's Shoes (8th race)

First Race

1. Banner Cat 2. Port Hudson 3. Citizen West
Oaklawn puts on its strongest card of the meet to date, with champion Blind Luck in town for the Grade 3, $150K Azeri and The Factor set to make his two-turn debut in the Grade 2, $300K Rebel. In the first, BANNER CAT must overcome the layoff, but like that he has spent his career facing steeper and note Creighton wins at an above average rate with his comebackers. PORT HUDSON has recency on top choice and might be even sharper here in his second straight sprint start. CITIZEN WEST must face older rivals, but he has class appeal as one who has been taking on higher-priced competition.

Second Race

1. Silver Magnus 2. Stamp 3. Will's Afleet

SILVER MAGNUS exits a quick race in which he was a good third and note for this trip he will add blinkers, which is a high percentage move for Robertson. STAMP, who has been a popular claim, finished in front of top choice last time and has an experience edge on that one as a five-time winner. WILL'S AFLEET gives up recency to these as he has not raced since May, but he would be tough to contain if he runs back to that Beyer Figure of 96. HENRY'S TIME is a half-brother to Victorina, a Grade 3 winner of $732K.

Third Race

1. Noble Rogue 2. Sir Sherman 3. Six Fire

NOBLE ROGUE has an age edge on some of these as a February foal, and also has the speed to make good use of the rail draw. Adding to his appeal is his experience.SIR SHERMAN might get a nice tracking trip off top choice.SIX FIRE was second to an in-hand winner last out and for the effort earned what ranks as this field's best career Beyer Figure.

Fourth Race1. Sing a Few Bars 2. Dancinforabrew 3. Get Back Kat

SING A FEW BARS has recency on DANCINFORABREW, and a two-turn experience edge on GET BACK KAT.

Fifth Race

1. Graysonia 2. Fu Man 3. Juan Might

GRAYSONIA, who has been facing steeper, will remove blinkers and note that is a high percentage move for Ice. FU MAN cut back to one turn last out and might be even sharper here in his second straight sprint start. JUAN MIGH T was second at this level last time out and that makes him a logical choice back.

Sixth Race

1. Players Court 2. Avolo 3. Finest Crystal

PLAYERS COURT is a stakes-placed runner who might get a nice stalking trip behind a few of these. AVOLO is a promising sort from the mare Chaposa Springs, who was a multiple Grade 1 winner of $762K. FINEST CRYSTAL owns the field's best career Beyer Figure.

Seventh Race

1. Stellsie 2. Wild Oration 3. Grand Opry
STELLSIE returns to OP after racing at Tampa Bay Downs and note she has a fine record over the local strip. She also gets a shot at an N3L spot. WILD ORATION must take on more experienced rivals after clearing her N2L condition, but note she owns one of the field's best last-race Beyer Figures. GRAND OPRY gives up recency to these as she has not seen action since October. However, she has class appeal as one who has seen steeper.

Eighth Race

1. Bell's Shoes 2. Wild Hope 3. Eve Giselle

BELL'S SHOES was favored against steeper rivals last out and ran a good second to win machine Gleaming. She might get an ideal pace setup this time around, with the rail-drawn SAKAKAWEA and the front-running BIKINI BELLA expected to keep things honest up front. Also like that BELL'S SHOES ran well in the $50K American Beauty earlier in the meet at Oaklawn.WILD HOPE exits same race as top choice and figures to again be making her case in the lane, whileEVE GISELLE shows some strong works for her first start since last February. The latter is also stakes-placed at Oaklawn.

Ninth Race

1. Havre de Grace 2. Blind Luck 3. Tidal Pool
The Azeri has come up gangbusters, with champion BLIND LUCK invading from Southern California to renew her rivalry with HAVRE DE GRACE, who now happens to be based at Oaklawn. Last year, the two locked horns on four different occasions, with BLIND LUCK edging HAVRE DE GRACE twice, in the Grade 1 Alabama and Grade 2 Delaware Oaks. HAVRE DE GRACE, meanwhile, turned the tables on BLIND LUCK in the Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion in which both fillies earned career-high Beyer Figures of 105. (The pair also met in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic won by Unrivalled Belle.) BLIND LUCK on Saturday is the class of the Azeri field as a champion who has run out $ 2.4mm. But siding with HAVRE DE GRACE, in large part because of a "breathtaking" workout she turned in March 8. She went in company with fellow Grade 2 winner Payton d'Oro, and overtook that class workmate in hand while going on to cover five furlongs in a bullet 59.40 seconds. BLIND LUCK has shipped east in part to run over the Oaklawn surface, as her trainer, Hollendorfer, said it has been hard to close ground over the new SA racing surface. She has run once before in Hot Springs, and dominated the Grade 2 Fantasy with her patented closing kick. TIDAL POOL faced BLIND LUCK in both the Fantasy and Oaks, running second to her at Oaklawn then third in the big race at Churchill. She has fired her best Beyer Figures over the local strip and might be sitting on a peak race in her third start since November.

Tenth Race

1. The Factor 2. J P's Gusto 3. Archarcharch
The Rebel requires taking a stand on THE FACTOR. He is the controlling speed in the mile and a sixteenth race, but has yet to run beyond seven furlongs so the question is whether the can get the trip. For those who believe he can, the tactical advantage he has makes this a simple race to handicap. For those who question him over a route of ground, there are a host of good options in the Rebel. Siding with the speed, THE FACTOR, who has some pedigree to support him as he faces new distance demands. His sire, War Front, was a Grade 2 winning sprinter, but he also won the $65K Princelet at a mile and a sixteenth at Belmont Park. In addition, War Front is the sire of Soldat, a two-time winner at a mile and an eighth who last month accounted for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. As for THE FACTOR's dam, she won an overnight race at a mile and a sixteenth at Hollywood Park and is a half-sister to Chief Seattle, who was second in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Juvenile won by Anees. Adding to THE FACTOR's appeal is the fact that Premier Pegasus, who he defeated last out in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita, returned last weekend to win the Grade 2 San Felipe by more than seven lengths. Baffert, THE FACTOR's trainer who went 4-for-4 in Oaklawn stakes in 2010, won the Rebel last year with Lookin at Lucky. J P'S GUSTO is the field's proven class as a Grade 1 winner of more than $500K. He might get an ideal tracking trip behind THE FACTOR, and can move forward here in his second start since December. ARCHARCHARCH merits respect for his sweeping win in the Rebel, which came over J P'S GUSTO. SWAY AWAY is a logical choice for his runner-up finish to THE FACTOR in the San Vicente, while locals who have turned in some strong works include ELITE ALEX and ALTERNATION.

Eleventh Race

1. Inhopewearesaved 2. Semiconductor 3. Mississippi Money
INHOPEWEARESAVED cuts back to one turn after showing speed around two, and that can be a winning move for a horse. SEMICONDUCTOR looks like the one to beat. He showed good speed on the turnback from a mile last out and for the effort earned what ranks as this field's best last-race Beyer Figure. MISSISSIPPI MONEY shows some strong works for Peitz, who sent out a 3-year-old debut winner earlier this month in Arienza.