REBEL'S ROMANCE will represent Godolphin Stables when he competes in the 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes. The son of DUBAWI joins the fray with a record of 4 wins from 5 lifetime starts. He is a big-striding gelding for British trainer Charles Appleby, who wins at a considerably high rate with horses shipping to the United States.
REBEL'S ROMANCE made noise during the Kentucky Derby trail after he won the UAE Derby back in March. He was caught four-wide entering the first turn, settled into a rhythmic stride through the backside, then made a bold move turning for home. He circled the field four-wide and drew off by more than five lengths for the win. He was clearly the best horse. Here's the replay.
Although he secured an entry to the Kentucky Derby, his connections decided it was best to skip it.
"Having spoken to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, we feel he needs more time and he will now be aimed at the last leg of the US Triple Crown, the G1 Belmont S.," trainer Charlie Appleby said. (Horse Racing Nation)
What advantages does REBEL'S ROMANCE have going for him on Belmont day? First of all, he'll be guided by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who has experience with this twelve furlong task. He won this race with JUSTIFY back in 2018.
On paper, REBEL'S ROMANCE is bred to run all day. He's the son of DUBAWI out of MINIDRESS by STREET CRY. He should enjoy the longer distance more than any of his rivals. Plus he'll be coming off the longest layoff, so he'll be firing fresh. One thing to note, however, is that he's only had one race beyond a mile.
After settling in at Belmont last week, he has already turned in two workouts. The first one on May 19th, going 4F in :50.4 as the 16th fastest of 25 workouts at that distance. Three days later, a 5F workout going 1:01, as the 6th fastest of 16 workouts at that distance.
Traveling assistant Sophie Chretien said of REBEL'S ROMANCE:
"I think he's moving well over it [Belmont main track]. The rider is very happy with him. He's a big boy. When he won the [UAE] Derby, he needed time to get into his rhythm. He's a big machine. The big track will suit him. He needs to be able to use his stride. The longer distance will be good for him." (NYRA Press Office, Paulick Report)
Source: Equibase, Paulick Report, Horse Racing Nation