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American Pharoah Wins Gr2 Rebel Stakes
Meanwhile, North America's Champion 2YO Male American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile-Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentlemen) made his long-awaited return to the races on a rainy day at Arkansas when cruising to a resounding 6.25-length win in the US$750,000 Gr2 Rebel Stakes (8.5 furlongs) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, reports bloodhorse.com. American Pharoah, who had never started outside of California, hadn't raced since winning the Gr1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita Park in September. The son of Pioneerof the Nile won the Eclipse award for best 2YO male last season, despite missing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with a foot issue. The Rebel win gave American Pharoah 50 points on the road to the Kentucky Derby, boosting his overall points to 60 and assuring him a spot in the 20-horse field on the first Saturday in May. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said American Pharoah could have his next start in the Gr1 Santa Anita Derby on 4 April, or return to Oaklawn for the Gr1 Arkansas Derby on 11 April. Both purses for the Triple Crown preps are US$1 million. "We'll see how he is when he gets back (to Santa Anita)," Baffert said. "We'll see how he's doing. We've got lots of options."