HOT SPRINGS, Ark — Before a record Rebel Stakes crowd of 45,500, local hero Long Range Toddy, owned by Willis Horton of Marshall, AR, won the first division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) by a neck over 2-5 favorite Improbable.
Fox Hill Farm’s recent impressive maiden winner Omaha Beach edged champion Game Winner in a photo to take the second division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2).
Handle was an all-time Oaklawn record of $16,221,639.11. The previous record was $16,159,771 set last Arkansas Derby Day.
Rebel Stakes Quotes:
Winning trainer Steve Asmussen, Long Range Toddy – “The horse is doing extremely well. He stepped up. Jon gave him a beautiful trip today and I love how he earned it late. The horse is extremely kind. Jon worked him the other day and his comment was that he was push button. The horse was away well and got a good spot. They went about their business and he relaxed down the backstretch. You could tell coming into the stretch he was loaded. He waited until they all lined out, didn’t waste any ground and wheeled him out late like he should and got rewarded for it.”
Winning jockey Jon Court, Long Range Toddy – “I was able to get settled and hoped I had left enough for a big punch. I also hoped I hadn’t let him get to far in front. Believe me, I was sweating bullets, but I had a lot of confidence in him. I had watched his races and I had worked him before the race. It’s great when a plan comes together as well as this one did.”
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, third with Galilean – “We thought it was a good race (before seeing the replay). I think we got away a little bit slow. I don't know what happened there in the middle of the race. Trying to figure that out.”
Winning Trainer Richard Mandella, Omaha Beach – “Coming out of a maiden race, it's a big step up. Game Winner ran really good. He hadn't run in a long time. He'll probably be tough next time, but mine just broke his maiden. He might be tougher, too. We always thought he was a really good horse. Being a War Front, I thought maybe he was going to want turf. But I was wrong with that. He wants dirt.”
Trainer Bob Baffert, second with heavy favorite Game Winner – “I would have liked to have won, but I’m very happy with both horses. They both ran well off the layoff. Thank goodness for the Cella family. We got to run both horses today. It was great racing.”
D. Wayne Lukas, third with Market King – “I was real pleased. Real pleased. I think we're still in the learning process. I think he's still a little bit heavy. I'm trying to tighten him down and everything, but this is a step in the right direction. I was really pleased with the ride.”