Pletcher Scores Second Straight Rebel With Magnum Moon

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By Jennifer Hoyt 

Photos by Coady Photography

Hot Springs, AR (Saturday, March 17, 2018) – Robert and Lawana Low’s Magnum Moon secured 50 points towards Kentucky Derby eligibility and provided trainer Todd Pletcher with his second straight victory in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) with his authoritative win before a record crowd of 37,500. Pletcher won the race last year with Malagacy.

Forwardly placed early, Magnum Moon tracked Title Ready through fractions of 23.42 and 47.15 for the first half mile. He began his bid on the far turn, shook free of the field through the stretch and finished 3 ½ lengths in front of even money favorite Solomini to remain undefeated in three career starts. Combatant, the runner up in both of Oaklawn’s Smarty Jones and Southwest (G3) Stakes overcame a rough trip to finish third. The winning time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.68 over a fast track.

 “We felt like we had a very talented colt,” Pletcher said via phone. “We were very pleased with his first two races. But, this was a step up in class and running against accomplished, seasoned colts. We were confident that he was training very well, coming into it in great shape and just hoping he could handle the continued rise in class.”

The pacesetter Title Ready held on for fourth and was followed by Sporting Chance, Zing Zang, High North, Higher Power, Pryor and Curlin’s Honor.

Magnum Moon, a Malibu Moon colt, has now earned $577,800. He returned $8, $3.60 and $3 as the 3-1 second choice in the field.

The Rebel Stakes winner is now ranked fifth on the Kentucky Derby list with 50 points. Solomini is now ranked ninth with 34 points, Combatant is 13th with 22. The Derby field is limited to the 20 starters with the most points.

Pletcher said that the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 14 is the next logical step for Magnum Moon, who could earn an additional 100 points by winning that race.

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