Magnum Moon (#5, 50) took another step toward the goal of becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) without having raced as a juvenile last Saturday with an authoritative victory over Solomini (#9, 34) in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park.
With only a maiden and allowance victory to his credit, the Todd Pletcher trainee won his stakes debut by 3 1/2 lengths, earning 50 Derby qualifying points as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Solomini earned 20 points in his first run of the season, while Combatant (#13, 22) earned 10 points for third.
The other prep over the weekend was the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), formerly the Spiral, at Turfway Park. It was won by Blended Citizen, who earned 20 points for the win but is currently not Triple Crown nominated.
There are two Kentucky Derby preps this coming weekend (March 24-25). On Saturday at Fair Grounds, it's the $1 million TwinSpires Louisiana Derby (G2) at 1 1/8 miles. Among those entered are the first three finishers from last month's Risen Star (G2) – Bravazo (#3, 54), Snapper Sinclair (#14, 22), and Noble Indy (#26, 10) – as well as Southwest (G3) hero My Boy Jack (#20, 12).
The Louisiana Derby is the first Derby prep to award qualifying points of 100-50-20-10 to the top four finishers.
Sunday's $8000 Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park is the final Derby prep with qualifying points of 50-20-10-5 going to the top four finishers. It, too, will be run at 1 1/8 miles.