July 17, 2024

Timberlake returns a winner in Rebel

Timberlake wins the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park
Timberlake wins the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park (Photo by Coady Photography / Credit to Renee Torbit)

Timberlake was the class going into Saturday’s $1.25 million Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park and, despite not having run since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in November, proved as much in the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep.

Only a distant fourth to Fierceness in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, Timberlake proved far less keen and far more focused in the Rebel under Cristian Torres. Breaking well and in fourth entering the first turn, Timberlake settled in fifth between rivals down the backside.

Making a four-wide bid entering the stretch, Timberlake grabbed the lead approaching the eighth pole. Although drifting slightly toward the stands under left-handed urging, Timberlake straightened out again and drove home to a two-length win over rail-skimming longshot Common Defense.

Owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Brad Cox, Timberlake covered the course in 1:44 over a fast track and returned $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

“I thought he ran a big race,” Cox said. “He was a little wide around the far turn, looked like he may have been getting a touch tired late, but overall it was a great run off the layoff.”

Common Defense, at 27-1, had a three-length margin on Northern Flame, who finished one length ahead of Woodcourt. Dimatic was fifth and was followed by pacesetter Carbone, Just Steel, Next Level, Lagynos, Magic Grant, Mena, and Tejon Pass.

Timberlake earned 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for his Rebel victory, and now has 66 in total. Common Defense earned 25 points and now has a total of 27, while Northern Flame increased his total from three to 18. Woodcourt secured 10 points and Dimatic five points.

The Rebel was the third win in six starts and second graded stakes triumph for Timberlake. A nine-length maiden winner at Ellis Park last July in his second start, Timberlake later finished second to longshot Nutella Fella as the favorite in the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga.

Timberlake rebounded to win the Champagne (G1) at Aqueduct by 4 1/4 lengths over a sloppy track, but made little impact in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, finishing eight lengths behind Fierceness.

Bred in Kentucky by St. Elias Stable, Timberlake was sold for $350,000 at Keeneland September. By Into Mischief, he was produced by the stakes-placed Pin Up, a daughter of Lookin at Lucky.