Each week leading up to the Kentucky Derby, I publish bets I make with a $1000 bankroll. My maximum bet is about $60 (or 6% of bankroll). Entering Week 6, the bankroll shows a $90 profit.

Once again I have two preps to work with this week: the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn and the stakes race formerly known as “The Sunland Derby.” Full fields in both of these features—that should create some value somewhere!

The Rebel Stakes

Another Bob Baffert horse invades Oaklawn Park this week. A few weeks ago, Collected, winner of the slowly run Sham Stakes, went down in flames in the Southwest Stakes. I see his stablemate Cupid suffering the same fate off of a slow maiden win. Sometimes slow is slow no matter where you go.

The beneficiary of the below-par Baffert effort last time was Suddenbreakingnews, who tries to make it two stakes wins in a row as the likely favorite. He won the Southwest easily as the lightly raced pacesetters collapsed late, along with every horse who tried to remain in sight of them. That won’t happen again because the Rebel field contains a horse who can run fast early and keep on kicking late.

Madtap enters this race off an impressive allowance win. The 6-length margin is eye-catching, but the ticket-cashing potential lies in the fractional and final times he registered. He should handle any pace that arises in this weak field, and he has already show the ability to stick around to the finish line even when working hard early on.

THE BET: $20 win/place on Madtap at odds of 7-2 or higher

The Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes

Here’s a lazy bettor’s confession: I pretty much just copied my San Felipe analysis from last week and changed the horse’s name. Let’s hope the result is the same

I foresee a theft on the front end by Gettysburg. His fractional times and final time in his maiden victory stack up well vs. today’s rivals. The 3-1 morning line seems like a decent deal for a clear-lead scenario.

THE BET: $20 Win/Place on Gettysburg at odds of 3-1 or higher.

Roger LeBlanc