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By Jarrod Horak

The Rebel Stakes was the latest road to Kentucky Derby 2024 points race. In this article, I will look back at that event and update my “Exceptional 11” Kentucky Derby contenders. The next four points races are the Fountain of Youth (G2), Gotham (G3), John Battaglia Memorial, and San Felipe (G2). All of those races will be run on Saturday, March 2.

Kentucky Derby 2024 Points Race Recaps

Rebel Stakes – Feb. 24 (Oaklawn Park)  

Fractions: 23.20, 47.67, 1:12.93, 1:37.91, 1:44.00

Top 5 Finishers: Timberlake, Common Defense, Northern Flame, Woodcourt, Dimatic

This race was a tale of two trips and reminded me of the 2023 Breeders’ Futurity. In the latter Grade 1 race at Keeneland, The Wine Steward saved all the ground stalking the pace from the inside post, and race favorite Locked was wide throughout from the outside post. Locked drove past The Wine Steward to win by a half-length and was stronger than the winning margin. In the 2024 Rebel, Common Defense saved all the ground stalking the pace from the inside post, and Timberlake was three wide into the far turn and four wide in the stretch. Brad Cox’s Into Mischief colt drifted out in the lane and Common Defense hugged the rail throughout. Timberlake straightened out and was much the best by two lengths, and Common Defense was clearly second best. Timberlake was solid in his first start of the year and can build on this race.

Read more at Today’s Racing Digest

Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak posts stakes recaps from Del Mar and Santa Anita Park, along with full card recaps and free stakes picks from Southern and/or Northern California.