Candy Ride's Confidence Game Splashes Home In Rebel

Confidence Game splashes home in Oaklawn's Rebel | Coady

Confidence Game (Candy Ride {Arg}), despite being, as his trainer Keith Desormeaux said, “the complete opposite of his name” in the paddock, rewarded his backers Saturday at 18-1 with a win in the GII Rebel S. and 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Breaking from the same gate as Wet Paint (Blame) won from one race prior in the GIII Honeybee S., Confidence Game raced two-wide past the stands and settled a path off the rail as the field sorted themselves out into the first turn. Powerful (Nyquist) and Frosted Departure (Frosted) did their best to separate themselves from the group, duking it out on the front end just ahead of stablemates Verifying (Justify) and Giant Mischief (Into Mischief). The first quarter, up in :22.75, had the field strung out up the backstretch with Red Route One (Gun Runner) looking hopelessly beaten in the back. Confidence Game hung back just off those top four, shifting out a path as a rival came along inside for an outside move past the group of leg-weary leaders. Widest of the field past the quarter pole, he rallied with momentum down the lane despite hanging on his left lead. Red Route One came roaring up from the back of the pack inside the final sixteenth but ran out of time as Confidence Game hit the wire in front.

“He sort of lost his mind in the paddock, so I was worried until he got on the track,” said Desormeaux. “James [Graham] got him to settle down out there. He's really come into his own. He started off pretty immature, but as the races went on, he has improved things mentally, and physically.”

Winning rider Graham added: “I was able to settle him down when we were warming up so he got back in the things mentally. I was really happy with where I was early in the race. He wasn't doing too much too soon. He had a ton left down the lane. I'm just so happy for everyone involved and especially this horse. He keeps maturing and doing things the right way. I think the sky is the limit for him.”

Pedigree Notes:

A bargain buy at just $25,000 as a yearling at Keeneland September, Confidence Game is out of a half-sister to Horse of the Year Zenyatta (Street Cry {Ire}) and MGISW Balance (Thunder Gulch). Second dam Vertigineux was named 2008's Broodmare of the Year, while Eblouissante has twice brought big dollars at sales, first from St. George Farm at the 2013 KEENOV sale for $2.1 million and finally from Summer Wind Farm at Tattersalls in 2016 for 1,100,000gns.

Confidence Game is followed by juvenile and yearling half-brothers by More Than Ready and Speightstown, respectively, while Eblouissante was bred to Maclean's Music for this spring. Confidence Game is the 52nd graded-stakes winner for Candy Ride (Arg).

Saturday, Oaklawn Park
REBEL S.-GII, $1,000,000, Oaklawn, 2-25, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.21, sy.
1–CONFIDENCE GAME, 119, c, 3, by Candy Ride (Arg)
               1st Dam: Eblouissante, by Bernardini
               2nd Dam: Vertigineux, by Kris S.
               3rd Dam: For the Flag, by Forli
'21 KEESEP). O-Don't Tell My Wife Stables; B-Summer Wind
Equine LLC (KY); T-J. Keith Desormeaux; J-James Graham.
$581,750. Lifetime Record: 7-3-1-2, $785,525. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Red Route One, 117, c, 3, Gun Runner–Red House, by Tapit.
O/B-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.
3–Reincarnate, 122, c, 3, Good Magic–Allanah, by Scat Daddy.
($775,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing,
Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables
LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC and
Catherine Donovan; B-Woods Edge Farm, LLC (KY); T-Tim
Yakteen. $89,500.
Margins: 1, 1HF, 2 3/4. Odds: 18.50, 9.90, 4.80.
Also Ran: Verifying, Bourbon Bash, Giant Mischief, Gun Pilot, Frosted Departure, Powerful, Event Detail, Talladega.
Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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