Triple Crown: Timberlake takes Rebel, points lead

The most accomplished entrant, Timberlake, delivered a workmanlike performance in his 3-year-old debut.

Timberlake, the 4-5 favorite, swept to the lead with a four-wide move turning for home and posted a two-length victory in the $1.25 million Rebel Stakes (G2) before an estimated crowd of 46,000 Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn.

Earning his owners a winner’s purse of $618,760, Timberlake surpassed $1 million in career earnings with the victory. More importantly, he collected 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Cristian Torres rode Timberlake for trainer Brad Cox and co-owners WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt) and Siena Farm (Todd Manganaro and Ignacio Patino).

The Rebel marked Timberlake’s first start since finishing fourth in the $2 million G1-Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 3 at Santa Anita. A son of super sire Into Mischief, Timberlake’s signature victory last year came in the $500,000 G1-Champagne Stakes – a one-turn mile – Oct. 7 at Aqueduct.

Common Defense and Northern Flame, both trained by Kenny McPeek, ran second and third, respectively, in the 1 1/16-miles Rebel. Woodcourt finished fourth, followed, in order, by Dimatic, Carbone, Just Steel, Next Level, Lagynos, Magic Grant, Mena and Tejon Pass. Time for Truth was scratched, reducing the starting field to 12.

Breaking from post position seven, Timberlake, trailed pacesetter Carbone by 1 ½ lengths through a :47.67 half-mile. Still fifth through six furlongs in 1:12.93, Timberlake began advancing on the leaders late on the second turn and struck the front in upper stretch. Timberlake was a length clear at the eighth pole and held a ground-saving Common Defense safe in the final 100 yards.

Timberlake’s winning time over a fast track was 1:44. The victory, Timberlake’s third in six lifetime starts, raised his career earnings to $1,094,350. It was his first victory around two turns.

Timberlake was the first Rebel winner for Cox, who joined Hall of Famers Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas and Steve Asmussen as the only trainers to capture all four of what are now Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby qualifying races.

“I thought he ran a big race. 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,” Cox said. “Cristian (Torres) did a great job of getting him in a good position. He was able to get him to relax and finish up well. We’ll bring him back to the Fair Grounds this week, train him and talk with Elliott Walden and Mr. (Kenny Troutt) and make a decision (on next start).”


The John Battaglia Memorial will take place on Mar 02, 2024 at TP.
The Fountain of Youth S. will take place on Mar 02, 2024 at GP.
The Gotham S. will take place on Mar 02, 2024 at AQU.
The San Felipe S. will take place on Mar 02, 2024 at SA.


1.Timberlake66Brad Cox
2.Track Phantom55Steve Asmussen
3.Sierra Leone55Chad Brown
4.Fierceness36Todd Pletcher
5.Common Defense27Kenny McPeek
Click here to see the top 20 in points, including ties.