Hoppertunity claims victory at Rebel Stakes

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Hoppertunity outdueled and outbumped Southwest Stakes winner Tapiture down the home stretch to win the $600,000 Rebel Stakes in soggy conditions at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.

It was the fourth win in the race in the past five years for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Rebel Stakes from 2010-12.

It was finalized after several minutes of discussion following a post-race inquiry because of late contact between Hoppertunity and Tapiture.

Hoppertunity went off at 6-1. Ridden by Mike Smith, Hoppertunity paid $14.20, $5.80 and $4.20. Tapiture paid $3.80 and $2.60, while Ride On Curlin was third and paid $4.60 to show.

Oaklawn’s series of Kentucky Derby prep races concludes with the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 12.

Oaklawn enjoyed clear weather for much of the weekend, but heavy fog - followed by even heavier rain - moved in during the hours leading up to Saturday’s race.

The rain ended shortly before the Rebel Stakes, leaving wet but fast track conditions for the field of eight Kentucky Derby hopefuls.

AQUEDUCT: In New York Mamdooha rallied to beat stablemate Sustainable by 1½ lengths Saturday in the $100,000 Cicada Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The first two finishers are trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and raced as separate betting interests.

Mamdooha, the 6-5 favorite, extended her winning streak to four. Unbeaten since running second in her debut last September, Mamdooha has captured three straight stakes: the Gin Talking at Laurel and two at Aqueduct, the Ruthless and the Cicada.

Eddie Castro was aboard for six furlongs in 1:12.13 on the fast track.

Mamdooha paid $4.40, $3 and $2.10. Sustainable returned $4.90 and $3.40, and Alpaca Fina paid $4.10 to show.

SANTA ANITA: In Arcadia, Calif., Let Faith Arise won the $350,000 Santa Margarita Stakes for older fillies and mares by 1¾ lengths.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Let Faith Arise ran 11/8 miles in 1:48.70 and paid $10.60, $3.80 and $3.20.

Iotapa returned $3 and $2.60 as the 7-5 favorite, while Stanwyck was another half-length back in third and paid $3.80 to show.

The victory helped Let Faith Arise increase her career earnings to $380,240, with five wins in 10 starts.

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