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Rebel Stakes 2024 | Oaklawn Park Picks [Kentucky Derby]
Timberlake (Joe Labozzetta / NYRA)

Rebel Stakes 2024 | Oaklawn Park Picks [Kentucky Derby]

Aaron previews the 2024 Rebel Stakes (G2) from Oaklawn Park, then gives his top picks from this Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race.

Can Timberlake bring sexy back to the Derby trail with a commanding victory? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

Grade 1 winner Timberlake is among 13 scheduled starters for Oaklawn’s $1.25 million G2 Rebel Stakes or 3-year-olds Saturday.

The Rebel is among four stakes races on a 12-race card that begins at 12:00 p.m. CST. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. Weather permitting, the infield will be open for the first time this season.

Probable post time for the Rebel Stakes, the 11th race, is 5:23 p.m.

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If the field remains intact, it will equal the third largest in Rebel history. The 1980 Rebel, won by eventual 3-year-old champion male Temperence Hill, had a record 15 starters.

Timberlake hasn’t started since finishing fourth in the $2 million G1-Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles Nov. 3 at Santa Anita for trainer Brad Cox, who is seeking his first Rebel victory. Timberlake won the one-mile $500,000 G1-Champagne Stakes Oct. 7 at Aqueduct.

The son of super sire Into Mischief has been based this winter at Fair Grounds. Cox and Torres teamed to win Oaklawn’s first 2024 Kentucky Derby points race, the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 1, with Catching Freedom.

Just Steel finished second in the Smarty Jones and $800,000 G3-Southwest Stakes Feb. 3 for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The Southwest, delayed one week because of winter weather, was Oaklawn’s second Kentucky Derby points race.

Four Rebel Stakes entrants worked after the surface renovation break Sunday morning at Oaklawn.

Mena went a half-mile in :49.20 for trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs. Time for Truth covered the same distance in :50 for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs. Tejon Pass and Woodcourt each breezed 5 furlongs. Tejon Pass, from the gate, went in 1:00.20 for trainer Peter Miller. Woodcourt went in 1:00.40 for trainer Cipriano Contreras.

The field for the Rebel Stakes, from the rail out:

  1. Carbone, Isaac Castillo to ride, 119 pounds
  2. Northern Flame, Julien Leparoux, 122
  3. Common Defense, Brian Hernadez Jr., 117
  4. Tejon Pass, Chris Landeros, 117
  5. Magic Grant, Harry Hernandez, 117
  6. Dimatic, Tyler Gaffalione, 117
  7. Timberlake, Cristian Torres, 119
  8. Next Level, Jose Riquelme, 117
  9. Lagynos, Keith Asmussen, 119
  10. Mena, Francisco Arrieta, 117
  11. Just Steel, Ramon Vazquez, 117
  12. Woodcourt, Emmanuel Esquivel, 122
  13. Time for Truth, Rafael Bejarano, 117

The Rebel Stakes has a record purse in 2024 after previously being worth $1 million.

The 8 ½-furlong Rebel is Oaklawn’s third of four Kentucky Derby qualifying races and will offer 105 points to its top five finishers (50-25-15-10-5, respectively) toward starting eligibility for the first leg of the Triple Crown.