McKeever Racing Stable's Crowned King, a 36-1 shot ridden by Chandra Rennie, wore down 3-5 favorite Great Notion in mid-stretch and went on to win the $125,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
The winning time for the bay son of Barkerville was 1:44 for the 1 1/16-mile Rebel. Crowned King, who won by a little more than a length, ended a five-race losing streak.
Great Notion and jockey Terry Thompson had a nightmare trip. The son of Elusive Quality, a nine-length winner in the Southwest at Oaklawn on March 1, broke outward from his outside post position in the field of seven. By the time he straightened out, he was 2 1/2 lengths behind Alke and rushed himself to the front, going four wide into the first turn. Great Notion tugged his way to a 1 1/2-length advantage early and maintained his advantage while recording fast fractions of :23, :46 and 1:11 1/5.
After spurting away briefly on the turn, he still led by 1 1/2 lengths in the stretch, but tired as Crowned King dug in. After breaking well, Crowned King was able to rate on the inside and moved into contention on the turn for home. Comic Truth encountered traffic difficulties behind four horses on the final turn, but came on after finding room in the stretch to finish third in the field of seven.
Owned and trained by Billy McKeever Jr., Crowned King won for the first time since the Oct. 6 Minstrel Stakes at Louisiana Downs. Crowned King lost the Risen Star (gr. III) on Feb. 16 by 37 lengths. Overall, it was his third win in 10 starts. He collected $75,000 for the win to increase his earnings to $130,700.
Wafare Farm bred the winner in Kentucky.
The second longset shot on the board, Crowned King Paid $75.60, $13.80 and $4.60. Grat Notion returned $2.80 and $2.20. Comic Truth's show price was $2.60. A winning $2 exacta was worth $236.