The $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds on the road to the Kentucky Derby and the return of champions Swiss Skydiver and Whitmore top the racing action around the country on Saturday.
The Rebel features Derby prospects Caddo River, Concert Tour and Keepmeinmind and offers Derby qualifying points of 50-20-10-5 to the first four finishers. A field of eight is entered, with seven-time Rebel winning trainer Bob Baffert sending out two – Concert Tour and Hozier.
Also, at Oaklawn there’s the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2), marking the seasonal debut of Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Shedaresthedevil, and the seasonal debut of male sprint champion Whitmore in the $200,000 Hot Springs.
At Santa Anita, the 4-year-old debut of Preakness (G1) winning filly Swiss Skydiver is set for the $300,000 Beholder Mile (G1).
America’s Day at the Races, in partnership with Fox Sports, will air live coverage Saturday from races at Aqueduct, Oaklawn Park and other tracks. From 2-3 p.m. ET, there will be live coverage on FS1; from 3-6 p.m. on FS2.
The Rebel will be shown via NYRA’s YouTube channel and the FOX Sports app from 6-6:30 p.m.
Here’s a brief rundown of the races, with approximate post times listed by Eastern time (ET).
Shedaresthedevil, trained by Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox, makes her first start since finishing third in the Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 10. A field of five was entered for the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares 4 and older. Shedaresthedevil is the slight 2-1 favorite over Envoutante (5-2).
Caddo River, also trained by Cox, is the slight 9-5 favorite over trainer Bob Baffert’s Concert Tour (2-1) in the field of eight vying for Derby qualifying points (50-20-10-5). Caddo River, with Florent Geroux riding, comes into the race off a 10 ¼-length win in the Smarty Jones on Jan. 22. Concert Tour, winner of the 7-furlong San Vicente (G2), is looking for his first Derby qualifying points. Baffert also sends out Hozier. Keepmeinmind, making his 3-year-old debut, is also a horse to watch.
Swiss Skydiver, the 2020 Eclipse Award winner as top 3-year-old filly, headlines an eight-horse field in her 4-year-old debut. Trained by Kenny McPeek, Swiss Skydiver finished seventh at 2-1 odds in the Breeder’s Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 7. Also entered are Harvest Moon, a multiple graded-stakes winner, and As Time Goes By, trained by Baffert. Swiss Skydiver won the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) going gate-to-wire last June in her only other appearance at Santa Anita.
Oaklawn: $500,000 Essex (Race 7, 4:08 p.m.), 1 1/16 miles for older horses; $150,000 Temperence Hill (Race 9, 5:13 p.m.), 12 furlongs for older horses; $200,000 Hot Springs (Race 10, 5:45 p.m.), 6 furlongs for older horses featuring Whitmore going for his fifth win in a row in this race.
Aqueduct: $100,000 Correction (Race 9, 4:55 p.m.), 6 furlongs for older fillies and mares. West Coast-based Amuse is the 8-5 favorite in a field of seven.
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.