Rebel Stakes preview: Anothing losing opinion about who will lose?My strongest opinion regarding the Rebel Stakes on Saturday at Oaklawn Park, involves who won't win rather than who will.
I don't get the love for Treasury Bill at all. I don't like him for basically the same reason I didn't like Orb: he's too slow.
Orb ended up making a fool out of me, and maybe Treasury Bill will, too. I mean, it's not like he can't improve 7-10 points given the stretch out and expected pace dynamics, but at the expected price (5-to-1 on the morning line, but lower wouldn't surprise me) I have to bet against him improving AND the top four regressing (Super Ninety Nine) or running flat (Delhomme, Den's Legacy, and Oxbow).
I'm having a hard time making a top pick. For TwinSpires.com SHOWdown purposes I definitely think Super Ninety Nine is the play, but all four of the ones I mentioned as needing to not improve for Treasury Bill to win look like win threats at the odds, and each has an interesting storyline:
Delhomme: If Normandy Invasion and Overanalyze had run to their odds in the Risen Star and Gotham, respectively, we'd probably be talking about Delhomme as the likely strong second choice instead of the favorite. He's running as much for the reputation of the Remsen as he is for himself.
Den's Legacy: The other Baffert, I don't get loving Treasury Bill but not this horse. Den's Legacy is faster than Treasury Bill, and if you think TB is going to get the ideal trip, then Den's Legacy figures to as well.
Oxbow: The first horse in awhile that D. Wayne Lukas is actually pointing to Kentucky Derby prep races rather than running them just because he can. Several performance figures actually credit the Lecomte winner's Risen Star as best, and he looked like a winner at the eighth pole. A similar trip but one that saves ground absolutely can get it done in this spot.
Super Ninety Nine: Baffert at Oaklawn. I've seen some question how far Super Ninety Nine wants to go, but if Baffert could get Secret Circle to win this race last year then Super Ninety Nine can win it this year. He's 3-to-2 on the morning line, though, and I don't know that he wins this 40% of the time, and he might be even money or worse. Still, I'd rather bet him as the favorite than Treasury Bill as second choice.
Wagering wise, I'll take the top three there (who are in alphabetical, no selection order) over the four for nine units. I'll then key Super Ninety Nine over those three in the tri for six units.