KY. Derby Championship Series Marches On

February 23, 2023

Darren Rogers/Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Action on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship Series is set to continue Saturday where 11 3-year-olds were entered in the Grade II, $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. The winner of Saturday’s Rebel will receive 50 points toward their spot in the starting gate in the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).

The Championship Series began its 16-race stand Saturday when Pennsylvania-bred Angel of Empire upset 13 rivals in the $400,000 Risen Star (GII) at Fair Grounds. Angel of Empire’s victory brought his point total to 54 and elevated him to the No. 1 spot over Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Forte (40).

Angel of Empire is conditioned by Brad Cox, who has ruled this year’s Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Owned by Albaugh Family Stables, Angel of Empire is one of eight horses under the 2021 Derby-winner’s care to earn points. Angel of Empire’s owners led four horses over for the Kentucky Derby: Brody’s Cause (7th), J Boys Echo (15th), Free Drop Billy (16th) and Thousand Words (scratched in paddock). 

Saturday’s Rebel Stakes is a key prep on Oaklawn’s calendar for the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (GI) that will be held on Saturday, April 1. 

Sit back and hold tight, the excitement on the Road to the Kentucky Derby is taking flight.

Watching The Weather – Saturday’s early National Weather Service forecast in Hot Springs, Ark. calls for a high near 53 degrees with a 50% chance of showers.

Since the Rebel had its inaugural running in 1961, the track condition was listed “sloppy” just three times: 2020, 2015 and 1985.

Key Races To Watch – This weekend there are several races around the world that could have implications on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Here are some of the key races:

@jonathanstettin on hot streak! Picks Race8 at both @GulfstreamPark & @santaanitapark #horseracing #PastTheWire

AMWager @AmWager View testimonials