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Rebel Stakes Betting ??? Strong Mandate Picks Up The Victory At Oaklawn Park

Posted by on 3/13/2014 7:43:10 PM

The Grade-2 Rebel Stakes is an important race on the road to the Kentucky Derby, and some excellent horses have wound up in the winner???s circle here. This race is for three-year-olds only and it is run over 1 1/6 miles on dirt at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas. There is a purse of $600,000 up for grabs, and a solid run will likely point a horse towards the Arkansas Derby next month.

The top horses in this eight-horse field dueled at a previous stakes race recently, and they???ll do it again on Saturday. Tapiture won the first round, but Strong Mandate will take the win this weekend, while Ride On Curlin??? puts a scare into his three-year-old rivals.

What: Horse Betting
When: Saturday, March 15th, post time 7:05 PM ET
Where: Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, AR
Pick: Strong Mandate

Hoppertunity broke his maiden on his second try and then finished a respectable fourth in the Grade-2 Risen Star, so he isn???t averse to strong competition. A good showing on Saturday should this colt towards another high-stakes race and he is trained by Bob Baffert, who won this race from 2010 to 2012.

Jet Cat will be making his graded stakes debut, and he has never finished higher than fourth in three allowance/clearance races. He???ll be a darkhorse this weekend, and he???ll need a few breaks to get into the top three.

Kobe???s Back recovered from a 10th in the Grade-1 CashCall Futurity by winning the Grade-2 San Vicente, which was his first start on dirt in four races. He closed much better down the stretch after struggling in his first race at 1 1/16 miles, and he will be one to watch at Oaklawn Park.

Ride On Curlin??? has made seven starts in his career, including three in graded stakes events, in which he has two third-place results and a fourth. He is coming off a third in the Grade-3 Southwest Stakes, and this is a horse that always seems to be around the end, which will pay off eventually for him. His sire, Curlin???, won this race in 2007 and also won the Preakness Stakes and Breeders??? Cup Classic (en route to winning the American Three-Year-Old Champion Horse Of The Year in 2007) in his three-year-old campaign, so Ride On Curlin??? has a lot to live up to.

Sheltowee???s Boy has improved in each of his first three starts, winning an allowance race last month, but all three of those outings were allowance races, so he???ll have to step up his game against better competition. He has also only run a mile, so how he handles the final 1/16 of a mile will be crucial to his chances.

Street Strategy broke his maiden in his second try, and like Sheltowee???s Boy, he has the potential, but he has never run against a field as strong as this. This will also be his first time running longer than a mile, but Street Strategy seemed to get strong down the stretch in his last start, so he will have to take it up a notch on Saturday.

Strong Mandate showed he would be a contender for the Kentucky Derby by following up a third-place run in November???s Breeders??? Cup Juvenile by finishing second in the Southwest Stakes. He was up and down as a two-year-old, winning the Grade-1 Hopeful Stakes and then coming in seventh in the Grade-1 Champagne Stakes, and as long as he becomes consistent, Strong Mandate should be a factor on the Kentucky Derby prep trail. He is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who won this race way back in 1989 with Manastash Ridge, and then last year with Will Take Charge, the 2013 Three-Year-Old Champion Male Horse.

Tapiture could be the favorite at Oaklawn Park as he rolls in with two straight wins, at the Grade-2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November, and then the Southwest Stakes as he beat out Strong Mandate and Ride On Curlin???. Trainer Steve Asmussen has won this race three times, with Snuck In back in 2000, Windward Passage in 2002 and ironically, Curlin??? in 2007. This is a thoroughbred that many think has a good shot to get to Churchill Downs for the Derby, and another win over some stiff competition would do a world of good for Tapiture.

How It Will Play Out

Strong Mandate will get his revenge and edge Tapiture to the finish line and win the Rebel Stakes On Saturday.

Rebel Stakes Betting Pick: Strong Mandate

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