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Game of Silks: Four horses to watch in Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park

Game of Silks: Four horses to watch in Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park

Reincarnate wins the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita last month. Credit: Benoit

The road to the $3 million Kentucky Derby continues Saturday with the richest race of the prep season so far, the Grade 2, $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The race is worth 100 Derby qualifying points, including 50 to the winner, essentially guaranteeing that horse a spot in the Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6.

The Rebel’s second- through fifth-place finishers will get 20, 15, 10 and five Derby points. In some years, 20 points is sufficient to secure one of the 20 spots in the Derby starting gate, but not always. The Rebel also serves as a prep for the highlight of the Oaklawn meet, the Grade 1, $1.25 million Arkansas Derby on April 1. The Arkansas Derby will award 200 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, making it a key Derby prep race.

The Rebel covers 1 1/16 miles and drew a field of 11 3-year-olds, including four who have younger siblings in the first Game of Silks catalog. The catalog features all the thoroughbreds born in 2021 that were entered in a public auction prior to publication. Those horses are 2-year-olds now, and many will launch their racing careers this year.

Steve Asmussen, who on Monday became the first trainer with 10,000 career wins in North America, has three Rebel entrants, while another top-tier trainer, Brad Cox, has two. Cox has 2-1 morning-line favorite Verifying, who romped by 5 1/4 lengths in a first-level allowance race at Oaklawn last month. Cox also has 5-2 second choice Giant Mischief, the runner-up in the $400,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park in December.

Here’s a look at the four Rebel entrants with 2-year-old siblings in the Silks catalog:

REINCARNATE (post 6, 7-2 morning line) – He won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes for embattled trainer Bob Baffert last month and recently was transferred to Tim Yakteen to make him eligible for Derby points. The son of Good Magic has won two consecutive races after beginning his career with three runner-up finishes.

Reincarnate’s half-brother sold for $80,000 as a yearling and is still available to be minted in Game of Silks. He was sired by Goldencents, a two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile who earned $3.04 million. Goldencents ranked 23rd among North American stallions last year with $8.49 million in progeny earnings.

The 2-year-old colt was produced by Allanah, a daughter of Scat Daddy who won a minor stakes race. That broodmare has produced four foals of racing age, including two winners. The star of the female family is the juvenile colt’s third dam, Stubborn Star, who never raced but has produced nine winners, including stakes winners Winning Agenda and Dixie Two Star.

CONFIDENCE GAME (post 7, 15-1) – In his 3-year-old debut, he finished third, beaten 7 3/4 lengths, in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds last month. His half-brother sold for $375,000 and has been delivered to a Silks owner. That colt was sired by the late More Than Ready, who ranks sixth in racing history with more than $143 million in North American progeny earnings.

The juvenile colt was produced by Eblouissante, a daughter of Bernardini who won two races. She has four foals of racing age, but Confidence Game is the only one who’s raced. But this colt’s second dam, or maternal grandmother, is Vertigineux, who produced the legendary Zenyatta, the only female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Vertigineux also produced Grade 1 winner Balance and stakes winner Where’s Bailey.

TALLADEGA (post 8, 30-1) – He’s stepping way up in class after beating maidens in his fourth career start. His half-sister sold for $340,000 and is still available in Silks. As a New York-bred, that filly will be eligible for purse bonuses and races, including lucrative stakes, exclusively for horses bred in that state.

The filly was sired by Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year, who ranks 13th in racing history with $112 million in North American progeny earnings. The juvenile was produced by Thin Disguise, a daughter of Yes It’s True who won a race. That broodmare has gotten six winners from eight foals of racing age, including Grade 3 winner Holiday Disguise and stakes winner Midnight Disguise.

EVENT DETAIL (post 9, 30-1) – He beat maidens on Turfway Park’s synthetic surface last month while making his third start and appears to have his work cut out for him. His half-sister sold for $475,000 and is still available in Silks.

That filly was sired by 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, who ranked third among freshman stallions last year with $2.35 million in progeny earnings. The juvenile was produced by Breaking Beauty, a daughter of leading stallion Into Mischief who won a race. Second dam Que Belle was a Group 2 stakes winner in Germany and has produced eight winners.

About Game of Silks: It’s a next-generation fantasy sports game that tokenizes each racehorse into a digital collectible that can be bought and sold. In 2023, Silks owners will receive 1% of their horses’ real-world purse earnings, a figure that’s expected to rise steadily in subsequent years.

As a dynasty fantasy contest, Game of Silks allows players to retain ownership of their horses for the duration of their racing and breeding careers, potentially earning rewards for a decade or more. Owners also are free to sell at any time.

Launched last April, Silks already is among the top 10 sports-themed NFT platforms on the Ethereum blockchain.The game’s first racing season begins in April, when this year’s crop of 2-year-old thoroughbreds begins competing.