Analyzing the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park
Welcome new horse racing bettors! With most of the world going into their doomsday bunkers, horse racing is one of the few sports not to cancel races yet. Most premiere tracks have taken precautions on running these races without spectators in order to prevent the spread of viruses. So while most people think there is nothing to bet on, this is the perfect time to introduce you to horse racing. I have keyed up a quick "How To Bet Horses" article that goes over the basics. Horse racing is unique in the sense that it doesn't make much of its money from ticket sales. Almost 85% of the money is bet online or at an off-track betting location. Horse racing operates under a separate law than all other sports betting and thus, you can bet legally in about 42 states in your pajamas at your house.
Today we have the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park awarding Kentucky Derby points of 50-20-10-5 to the 1st through 4th place finishers. I've been actively monitoring the weather as a fast dry track is nowhere near the same as a wet, sloppy or muddy track. Different tactics go into handicapping wet tracks versus dry tracks. I am writing this as if it will be a dry track, but will make notes of horses that like it wet.
This should be a really interesting race. Heavy money will pour onto Nadal, I'm sure. I'm not sold on Nadal yet. I am not saying he's a bad horse. In fact, about a month ago, Nadal was ranked 8th on my top 10. However, he will need to prove A LOT to everyone today but his odds make him look like he already has. Nadal will be trying a two-turn race for the first time in his career. He will be battling his toughest competition. He won by slim margins (less than a length) against Ginobili in the San Vicente. Ginobili went on to lose two races after that as top choices. This is important because it shows that Nadal won by less than 1 length over a horse that can't win as a favorite. I also don't like that Nadal will probably be in a speed duel with No Parole. No Parole is another unbeaten horse that is in the camp of 'who have you beat', shipping over from Louisiana racing. No doubt about the speed, and possible to steal the show if the distance is not an issue in the slop. Slop usually favors horses that are on or near the lead. Basin is a question mark after a long layoff. He looked incredible before his 6-month layoff, but I'm banking on needing a race to get back to form. Three Technique is a horse that could have won last out on a dry track but was at the mercy of the early speed winning the race. Slop again could yield similar results.
I'm eyeballing two horses as my top choice. I really like Silver Prospector. He has won in the slop and on fast. He gets the combo of trainer and jockey and home-track advantage. Silver Prospector will be sitting close enough to the lead that he will have a chance to swipe it from the speed horses. He has a win on this track and is 2 for 2 at this distance. The other horse I am eyeballing is American Theorem. While this horse may end up as a long shot, he is the son of American Pharoah, which won this race in 2015. He won his debut, followed that up with a loss to Eight Rings, who is a great horse to lose to. After a long layoff, I have many personal reasons that I think this horse can be a very real part of the conversation that likely will be overlooked.
Early Lean:I am personally fading Nadal to underneath. Don't mistake that for me thinking he can't win. I just have too many cons lined up before crowning this horse a champ. Instead, I am grabbing the value horses in Silver Prospector and American Theorem for the win. Basin, Nadal, Three Technique and No Parole all going underneath.
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