Kentucky Derby Dream Bet Rebel pick from Jennifer Caldwell
The Rebel drew a maximum field of 14 sophomores and includes the top three from the Southwest (G3) in Suddenbreakingnews, Whitmore and American Dubai, as well as last year’s Hopeful (G1) victor, Ralis, who is making his three-year-old bow in this spot.
Despite the obvious credentials of these runners I’m going with the Bob Baffert-trained Cupid (#4, 7-2).
The gray son of Tapit took three tries to break his maiden, finally getting the job done last out on February 7 at Santa Anita Park. Cupid bobbled at the start of that 8 1/2-furlong contest before taking over in the lane and pulling away to a 5 1/4-length score. He was stretching out to a route of ground after finishing fourth and second in his two prior attempts at sprint distances.
The Kentucky-bred colt faces stakes rivals for the first time here but his BRIS Speed ratings are on par, if not better, than his opponents in the Rebel. He also has in his corner Baffert, winner of five Rebels since 2010 including last year’s with eventual Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.