Concert Tour Gives Baffert Eighth Rebel Victory
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, March 13, 2021) – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert continued his dominance in Oaklawn’s 3-year-old stakes program when Gary and Mary West’s Concert Tour gave the trainer his eighth victory in the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) on Saturday. The victory earned him 50 points towards eligibility in the Kentucky Derby (G1) May 1 and he is now ranked fourth among the top 20 possible starters.
Concert Tour took control early and never looked back under jockey Joel Rosario. He toyed with 6-5 favorite Caddo River through early fractions of :23 2/5 and :47 2/5 before shaking clear entering the stretch and drawing clear to win impressively by 4 ¼ lengths over his stablemate Hozier, who closed from nearly last to secure the place spot and 20 points toward Kentucky Derby eligibility. Stablemates Big Lake and Super Stock completed the exacta for trainer Steve Asmussen and earned 10 and five points, respectively. The undefeated Concert Tour completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43 over a fast track.
“That was nice, impressive,” Baffert said. “I’m just happy to run 1-2. That’s pretty huge. I’m just glad they showed up. I just told (Joel) Rosario he’s fast. I know Caddo River’s fast. This horse going two turns first out, just play the break and do what you think is right. He’s a very, very fast horse. He looked like he was doing it pretty easily, though. They slowed up a little bit down the backside. Joel, you could really tell he was controlling the race. This is a really top horse. I was going to be disappointed if he didn’t do what he did today.”
Caddo River, Keepmeinmind, Get Her Number and Twilight Blue completed the order of finish.
“It was a very good race,” jockey Joel Rosario said. “He broke very good and I just let him go on with it. It was impressive for his first time going two turns.
Concert Tour, a son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, is now a perfect three-for-three and has earned $756,600. He returned $5.40, $3.80 and $3.40 as the 3-2 second choice.
One race earlier CZ Rocket denied heavy favorite Whitmore his fifth victory in the $200,000 Hot Springs Stakes when he got up in the final jump to prevail by a neck in a final time of 1:09 for six furlongs over a fast track. Flagstaff finished third.
“I didn’t think we would be behind Whitmore, but it kind of worked out,” said trainer Peter Miller, who had claimed the horse last year for $40,000 at Oaklawn before he went on to win multiple Graded stakes. “Might have been a blessing in disguise to track Whitmore. He’s such a great horse, Whitmore, and so is C Z Rocket. I just can’t say enough about both of these horses. My congratulations to the connections of Whitmore on having this horse ready to rock and roll. Going down the stretch, I thought we were going to get there. It was tough. He was a little further back than I’d thought he would be, honestly. I did see pace was hot. Flo (Florent Geroux) knows what he’s doing. Horse runs really well for him. Pace was fast, so we were where we were supposed to be and it worked out.”
CZ Rocket, a 7-year-old City Zip gelding who races for Madaket Stables LLC, Gary Barber and Tom Kagele, improved his record to 10-2-2 in 24 starts and has now earned $1,011,641. He returned $7.20, $3.40 and $2.40 as the 5-2 second choice.
In the Temperence Hill Stakes, 47-1 longshot Carlos L. went gate to wire to win the 1 ½ mile race by a neck over Lone Rock under jockey Alex Canchari. Tenfold, the 2-1 favorite was third.
The 5-year-old Hold Me Back horse has now won seven of 16 starts and earned $262,999 for trainer Mac Robertson and owners Good Friends II, LLC.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Oaklawn with a 1 p.m. first post.