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Rebel Stakes 2024 | Oaklawn Park Replay [Kentucky Derby]
Timberlake (Tommy Land/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Rebel Stakes 2024 | Oaklawn Park Replay [Kentucky Derby]

The Brad Cox-trained Timberlake won the 2024 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, a prep race for the Kentucky Derby (G1).

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Watch the race replay here:

The press release:

The most accomplished entrant, Timberlake, delivered a workmanlike performance in his 3-year-old debut.

Timberlake, the 4-5 favorite, swept to the lead with a four-wide move turning for home and posted a two-length victory in the $1.25 million Rebel Stakes (G2) before an estimated crowd of 46,000 Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn.

Earning his owners a winner’s purse of $618,760, Timberlake surpassed $1 million in career earnings with the victory. More importantly, he collected 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Cristian Torres rode Timberlake for trainer Brad Cox and co-owners WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt) and Siena Farm (Todd Manganaro and Ignacio Patino).

The Rebel marked Timberlake’s first start since finishing fourth in the $2 million G1-Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 3 at Santa Anita. A son of super sire Into Mischief, Timberlake’s signature victory last year came in the $500,000 G1-Champagne Stakes – a one-turn mile – Oct. 7 at Aqueduct.

Common Defense and Northern Flame, both trained by Kenny McPeek, ran second and third, respectively, in the 1 1/16-miles Rebel. Woodcourt finished fourth, followed, in order, by Dimatic, Carbone, Just Steel, Next Level, Lagynos, Magic Grant, Mena and Tejon Pass. Time for Truth was scratched, reducing the starting field to 12.

Breaking from post position seven, Timberlake, trailed pacesetter Carbone by 1 ½ lengths through a :47.67 half-mile. Still fifth through six furlongs in 1:12.93, Timberlake began advancing on the leaders late on the second turn and struck the front in upper stretch. Timberlake was a length clear at the eighth pole and held a ground-saving Common Defense safe in the final 100 yards.

Timberlake’s winning time over a fast track was 1:44. The victory, Timberlake’s third in six lifetime starts, raised his career earnings to $1,094,350. It was his first victory around two turns.

Timberlake was the first Rebel winner for Cox, who joined Hall of Famers Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas and Steve Asmussen as the only trainers to capture all four of what are now Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby qualifying races.

Oaklawn’s fourth and final Kentucky Derby points race is the $1.5 million G1-Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles March 30. Cox has won the Arkansas Derby the last two years.


Winning Jockey (Cristian Torres/Timberlake): “Beautiful trip. I got the position that I wanted. I wanted him to be nice and relaxed. He did it all. He’s a classy horse. I’m just grateful that I could get it done for Brad (Cox) and (co-owner) WinStar. It’s a dream to win these kinds of races for these kind of people. It’s a dream come true.”

Winning trainer (Brad Cox/Timberlake): “I thought he ran a big race. He was a little wide around the far turn. Looked like he may have been getting a touch tired late, but overall it was a great run off the layoff. Cristian (Torres) did a great job of getting him in a good position. He was able to get him to relax and finish up well. We’ll bring him back to the Fair Grounds this week, train him and talk with Elliott Walden and Mr. (Kenny Troutt) and make a decision (on next start).”

Winning co-owner (Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm/Timberlake): “Really pleased with how he’s matured. He was always a little keen last year. He had a good spot. He settled today, which is nice to see.” Walden said would talk next-race plans with trainer Brad Cox. The Arkansas Derby is a possibility, Walden said.

Second-place jockey (Brian Hernandez Jr./Common Defense): “Great trip. We just sat on the inside coming from the 3 hole. Turning for home, we got lucky when it opened up. We were just second best.”

Second- and third-place trainer (Kenny McPeek/Common Defense/Northern Flame): “Two fantastic runs by two really nice horses. Very impressive, the winner (Timberlake). Really impressive. You’ve definitely got to put him in your top tier. But my colts, look, they’re going to make their presence felt the rest of the year. Where they go from here, we’ll see. For sure (both are on the Derby trail). I think that there’s so many nice races out there that you’ve just got to pick the right ones and kind of see. Just off the top of my head, maybe Common Defense goes to Turfway and runs in the Spiral. We’ll talk about Northern Flame and see how far he wants to go and everything. He’s a lovely horse in his own right.”

Seventh-place trainer (D. Wayne Lukas/Just Steel): “You can’t overcome the 11 hole (Just Steel’s post position), 11, 12 (in route races). You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You almost have to break hard and get up there. You’re bound to be wide. I was sick to my stomach when they drew. We’ll draw a line through it.”