Rebel Stakes picks for 2020 Rebel Stakes Day at Oaklawn Park

Rebel Stakes picks - Ricardo Santana Jr.
Key an eye on Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard Silver Prospector when making your Rebel Stakes picks Saturday at Oaklawn Park. (Photo credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Horse racing takes center stage Saturday for American bettors and the $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park is certainly worthy of all the attention. A Kentucky Derby points race, we have a solid eight-horse field to make our Rebel Stakes picks from. Let’s see if we can find a way to beat the favorite #1 Nadal (5-2) with our 2020 Rebel Stakes picks.

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Nadal will likely go off at a short price. But there are reasons to go against the Bob Baffert-trained morning line favorite.

The Rebel Stakes will be the first time Nadal tries two turns, so we don’t know he’ll handle the 1 1/16-mile distance in his third career start. Last time out, Nadal won the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita — a seven-furlong victory which he had to work hard for as a 1-5 favorite.

It will be blinkers off Saturday for Nadal.

Baffert has won a record six Rebel Stakes, so he does have the right trainer to guide him to victory here. A fast pace could also favor Nadal on the rail. 

In other words, don’t toss Nadal out. But given the expected price, there are other interesting options to make Rebel Stakes picks with.

2020 Rebel Stakes entries

Race 10, 6:17 p.m. ET post time: 1 1/16M | 3-year-olds | $1 million

#, HorseJockey/TrainerRebel Stakes odds
#1 NadalJ. Rosario/B. Baffert
5-2
#2 ExcessionT. Baze/S. Asmussen
#3 BasinJ. Castellano/S. Asmussen
3-1
#4 Silver ProspectorR. Santana/S. Asmussen
7-2
#5 No ParoleJ. Talamo/T. Amoss
8-1
#6 Three TechniqueL. Saez/J. Engelhart
7-2
#7 Coach BaheS. Sanjur/P. Bauer
#8 American TheoremT. Pereira/G. Papaprodromou
6-1

#3 Basin (3-1) is likely to go off as the second choice. Basin has questions of his own to answer. Like Nadal, this will be Basin’s first attempt at two turns. And while he is coming off a win in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, Basin has been sidelined since with an ankle injury. This could be too tall of a task for him to return to. I will be looking elsewhere when making my Rebel Stakes picks, although I would consider him in exotic wagers.

Topping my Rebel Stakes picks will be #4 Silver Prospector (7-2)

Silver Prospector comes into the Rebel with leading rider at the Oaklawn meet, Ricardo Santana Jr., and he owns two solid wins at this distance. In his last race, Silver Prospector turned in an impressive 97 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 Southwest here at Oaklawn in February.

If Silver Prospector is No. 1 among my Rebel Stakes picks, #6 Three Technique (7-2) is likely my 1A.

Three Technique finished second in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park in January and while he doesn’t own any of the flashy wins some of his competitors do Saturday, this horse has shown a lot of potential.

While I don't expect him to win, Excession is a horse to keep an eye on in exotics. The Steve Asmussen-trained son of Union Rags has shown he can handle this distance. He could sneak into the money at a nice price.

Of note, the track is currently muddy with more rain expected this afternoon.

Rebel Stakes picks

#4 Silver Prospector

#6 Three Technique

#1 Nadal

#2 Excession

About the Rebel Stakes

The top four finishers in the Rebel earn 2020 Kentucky Derby qualifying points on a 50-20-10-5 system. 

The Rebel Stakes is slated for Race 10, with a scheduled post time of 6:17 p.m. ET. Saturday’s Rebel tops an 11-race card at Oaklawn Park, including three graded stakes. Also featured on the Oaklawn Park card Saturday are the Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri Stakes and $350,000 Essex Handicap.

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New customers get up to a $300 risk-free bet on a single horse win bet
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