Juvenile champ Game Winner makes return in Rebel

The Grade II, $750,000 Rebel Stakes, part of Arkansas’ road to the Kentucky Derby, takes place this Saturday. Oaklawn Park has split the 1 1/16th-mile event into two divisions, the latter of which drew 10 runners. Division two of the Rebel goes as Race 10 of 11, and estimated post time is 7:06 p.m. EST. You can find our preview of the first division of the Rebel here.

#5 GAME WINNER (4-5, morning-line favorite) looks to have found an easy group to make his return against. The three-time Grade I winner has the best speed figures of anyone else in the field. If GAME WINNER runs back to his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile triumph, he should prove difficult to handle. The return works for Bob Baffert are strong, and Joel Rosario maintains the assignment.

#6 OMAHA BEACH (7-2) was much the best in his muddy maiden win at Santa Anita last month. The son of War Front demonstrated some hanging tendencies in his first starts on turf before losing to Derby trail campaigner Nolo Contesto in his dirt debut with a rough trip. His victory when last seen was long overdue. OMAHA BEACH makes an eyebrow-raising switch to Mike Smith, who essentially trades mounts with Flavien Prat, who is on the inferior #8 GUNMETAL GREY (10-1).

#2 LAUGHING FOX (10-1) made an eye-catching late bid at this course and distance last time out. He makes his stakes debut off two straight victories for Steve Asmussen. LAUGHING FOX needs to step up his speed figures a bit, but the lightly-raced son of Union Rags is eligible to improve. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the call.

#7 OUR BRAINTRUST (6-1) is capable of grabbing a small share. He was close third in a highly-rated renewal of the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct when last seen. David Cohen, riding at a high clip at Oaklawn this year (23 percent), will be aboard.

The play: $6 exacta 5/6, $2 exacta 5/2, $2 exacta 6/5 ($10)

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