• Bullet Train Derby Platform presented by Brisnet.com--the 3:18 to Turfway

    POSTED Mar 18, 2013
    While enjoying a French dip sandwich at local post-Keeneland hotspot Parlay Social, Sean Feld mentioned that this weekend's Rebel Stakes did little to clear the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands picture for him.


    In the sense that I'm no more sure now than I was before the Rebel that Itsmyluckyday and Verrazano are the fastest horses and that Mac The Man is the best three-year-old no one who doesn't know me has ever heard of, I agree with Sean.

    This weekend's races are the last of Derby Championship Series Leg 1 (i.e., the "50-point races" or the 50-20-10-5 races), and Mac The Man runs in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes on Saturday at Turfway. As I told Sean between au jus dips, Mac The Man has to run extremely well to sustain my ranking of him. A troubled second or a sneaky good third won't be enough to have him on the "A" list. I certainly hope he runs well enough not to embarrass him or me, but 2nd between Itsmyluckyday and Verrazano is too lofty of company to keep without a really good win on Saturday.

    That's looking ahead, though, and I still have some parting shots on the Rebel as inspired by Monday morning's #DerbyChat on Twitter.
    About a half-hour later I had to post this because I was clearly alone in my questioning of Oxbow's will to win.
    I'm still skeptical, though. Oxbow doesn't seem like that type that will take a charge. He's getting called for the blocking foul every time.

    As for the Rebel favorite, Super Ninety Nine...
    I didn't love Super Ninety Nine at the expected price because, but I did think he'd show enough to validate his Southwest Stakes performance. He performed so poorly that he dropped not only out of my ten (from an admittedly too-high four slot) but also the third pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which has 23 individual interests.

    And the one thing I'm surprised no one is talking about is that Equibase rated the Rebel as the fastest three-year-old stakes to date, which makes absolutely zero sense to me.

    My best guess is it messed up the variant on what many called a slow, tiring surface (1 1/16 miles in 1:45.18). Brisnet.com gave the race a 101 while Beyer had it at 95. So Brisnet has it as slightly faster than Beyer, but Brisnet hardly has it as a threat for one of the fastest races of the year let alone THE fastest.

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