Tapiture is the one to beat in the Rebel
"On a crisp March morning at Oaklawn Park in 2007, trainer Steve Asmussen kept his watchful eyes focused on a chestnut colt under his care. Later that afternoon, the colt would continue down the road to Louisville in hopes of Asmussen's dreams of Kentucky Derby glory. The colt, named Curlin, would win that day's Rebel Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths. That victory was only the very beginning. While Curlin never won the Run for the Roses, he won some of the most important races in the world - including the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), and Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) - en route to becoming the richest North American racehorse in history.
Now, seven years later, Asmussen and Curlin stand on the verge of being immortalized, having recently been announced as finalists for the National Museum of Racing's 2014 Hall of Fame ballot. While Curlin has long since settled into his new life as a stallion at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, even siring a 2014 Rebel Stakes starter in Ride On Curlin, Asmussen remains a staple at Oaklawn and continues to make a mark on the track's Derby trail.
Just like he did seven years ago, Asmussen will saddle a strong chestnut colt in today's Rebel. This colt, Tapiture, has much more racing experience than Curlin did when he charged into the fray in the 2007 Rebel, having raced five times already. Two of those wins are graded stakes victories, including a romp in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs as a two-year-old. A dominant winner of Oaklawn's Southwest Stakes (gr. III) last out, Tapiture is the 9/5 morning line favorite for today's Rebel. . ."
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