Meet The Contenders: 2023 Rebel Stakes

February 23rd, 2023

Meet the horses running in the 2023 Rebel S. (G2), plus a pro, con and rating of their potential. The star rating of 1 to 4 represents opportunity to perform well among the field.

#1 VERIFYING          ****

Verifying wins at Oaklawn Park Jan. 14, 2023. (Photo by Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Pro: Grade 1 performer; form is strong from his January allowance victory.

Con: Inside gate can be a problem if he doesn’t start well.

#2 POWERFUL          **

Powerful wins the Ed Brown S. at Churchill Downs 2022. (Photo by Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

Pro: Beat two race rivals when winning Ed Brown S. at Churchill Downs Nov. 26.

Con: Hasn’t raced since Ed Brown S. and may need the run.

#3 RED ROUTE ONE          ***

Red Route One trains at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 19, 2023. (Photo by Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Pro: Earned minor awards in three Derby preps; no reason why he can’t do so again.

Con: Can get too far back to be a winning chance. Will need a strong pace.

#4 GUN PILOT          ***

Pro: Improving and bred to enjoy the increased distance.

Con: Has five lengths to make up on Verifying from Jan. 14 allowance defeat.

#5 GIANT MISCHIEF          ****

Giant Mischief wins at Horseshoe Indianapolis Sept. 22, 2022. (Photo by Coady Photography/Horseshoe Indianapolis)

Pro: Outstanding effort to rally into second in Springboard Mile at last start.

Con: Cannot afford to miss the start again as he did in Springboard Mile.

#6 REINCARNATE          ***

Reincarnate and jockey Juan Hernandez, right, win the Grade III $100,000 Sham Stakes Sunday, January 8, 2023 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA (Photo by Benoit Photography)

Pro: Improving with every race and beat some good horses in Sham S. (G3).

Con: Having his first start for a new trainer.  

#7 CONFIDENCE GAME          **

Confidence Game wins at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Beat subsequent Withers (G3) victor Hit Show at Churchill Downs.

Con: Needs to improve from distant third to Instant Coffee in Lecomte (G3).

#8 TALLADEGA          *

Talladega trains at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 19, 2023. (Photo by Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Pro: Best effort to date when winning maiden at Oaklawn Park Jan. 28.

Con: Needs to improve a lot to be capable of beating this caliber of horse.

#9 EVENT DETAIL          *

Event Detail wins at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Looked good when winning maiden at Turfway Park Jan. 27.

Con: Best form is on synthetic tracks. Well beaten in only start on dirt.

#10 BOURBON BASH          *

Bourbon Bash wins at Saratoga, Aug. 13, 2022. (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

Pro: Tries hard and has run two decent races at Oaklawn Park.

Con: Has failed to win a stakes race despite plenty of opportunities.

#11 FROSTED DEPARTURE          **

Frosted Departure wins the Renaissance S. at Oaklawn Park Dec. 31, 2022. (Photo by Coady Photography/Oakalwn Park)

Pro: Won Renaissance S. and third in Southwest S. (G3) on this track.

Con: Has yet to show he’s capable of winning at this level.