Rebellion will attempt to become the first since Black Tie Affair in 1990-91 to win repeat renewals of the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) when he faces seven rivals April 11 in the $250,000 sprint at Keeneland.
The seven-furlong Commonwealth, the seventh race on the card, is one of four graded races on a Keeneland program headlined by the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The purse includes $75,000 from the Breeders' Cup Fund. My Pal Charlie, last year's Super Derby (gr. II) winner, is the 122-pound high weight in the Polytrack event.
Since posting back-to-back wins in last year's Commonwealth and the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park in June, Rebellion has been blanked in five starts. His best effort during that span came in a runner-up finish to Albertus Maximus in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
Trained by Graham Motion for Jim and Marylea Treptow's Hickory Tree Stables, the 6-year-old son of Mozart has been out of action since running last of nine in the Citation Handicap (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf Nov. 28.
Edgar Prado, who rode Rebellion to his 2008 Commonwealth score, will be back aboard for the first time since the Breeders' Cup. They break from the far outside post.
Rebellion, who won two of seven starts in 2008, owns a career mark of 7-4-4 in 21 starts with earnings of $740,117.
B. Wayne Hughes’ My Pal Charlie, won last year’s nine-furlong Super Derby at Louisiana Downs by 4 1/2 lengths, but has lost three in a row since. Trained by Al Stall Jr., My Pal Charlie will be cutting back to a sprint distance for the first time in more than a year.
After closing 2008 with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, the 4-year-old Indian Charlie colt ran fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Mineshaft (gr. III) Feb. 7 and fifth in the 1 1/8-mile New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 14, both races coming at Fair Grounds. Julien Leparoux has the mount and will break from post 4.
Trainer Steve Asmussen is represented by Storm Treasure, a multiple stakes winner for owner Mike McCarty with lifetime earnings of $679,394. Third in last year's inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, the 6-year-old Storm Boot horse is coming off a sixth-place finish in a one-mile grass stakes March 7 at Fair Grounds.
Keep Laughing captured Keeneland's Lafayette Stakes by a nose in his only prior synthetic track start one year ago. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is coming out of a third-level allowance win by 2 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park Feb. 19 for Vision Racing.
Silver Edition ships from Oaklawn Park, where he won two of his past three starts for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, including the six-furlong Hot Springs in his most recent try March 21.
Eternal Star just missed by a head to Ah Day in the six-furlong Toboggan (gr. III) on Aqueduct's inner track in his last effort March 7 for trainer Michael Trombetta.
Stakes winners Ravalo and Success Success round out a competitive field.
$250,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II, Race 7, 4:11 p.m.), 3 -year-olds and up, seven furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Eternal Star (KY), 118, Eibar Coa
2. Keep Laughing (KY), 118, Alan Garcia
3. Silver Edition (KY), 118, Rene R. Douglas
4. My Pal Charlie (KY), 122, Julien R. Leparoux
5. Success Success (FL), 118, Calvin H. Borel
6. Storm Treasure (KY), 118, Shaun Bridgmohan
7. Ravalo (KY), 118, John R. Velazquez
8. Rebellion (GB), 118, Edgar S. Prado