Louisiana Derby

Half-Mile Work for Disarm Monday

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Disarm (Gun Runner) completed his major preparations for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby with a half-mile work in :49.20 (15/30) at Churchill Downs Monday. With exercise rider Wilson Fabian in the saddle, Disarm was accompanied to the track by assistant trainer Scott Blasi aboard one pony, while trainer Steve Asmussen followed close behind on another. Disarm completed an opening quarter-mile of :25 and was not asked to gallop out past the wire, which is typical in Asmussen's works less than one week out of a race. "We've been behind...

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Derby Hopeful Disarm Posts Five-Furlong Work at Churchill

Winchell Thoroughbreds' GII Louisiana Derby runner-up Disarm (Gun Runner), who most recently finished third in the Apr. 15 GIII Lexington S. at Keeneland, worked five furlongs in 1:00 with jockey Joel Rosario aboard for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen at Churchill Downs on Monday morning. The bay colt broke off about a length behind stablemate Gigante (Not This Time) with Churchill clocker John Nichols catching him in splits of :13.20, :35.40, :36.60 and :48.40 before galloping out the six furlongs in 1:13.20. "I thought he worked really well this...

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Easy Works for Cox's Derby Contenders

Two of trainer Brad Cox's four GI Kentucky Derby contenders turned in half-mile works at Churchill Downs Saturday, with GI Arkansas Derby winner Angel of Empire (Classic Empire) and GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby third-place finisher Jace's Road (Quality Road) both credited with working, hours apart, in :48.20 (20/99). Albaugh Family Stables' Angel of Empire worked alongside stablemate Tapit's Conquest (Tapit), who was most recently seventh in the Louisiana Derby, just as the track opened at 5:30 a.m. Sporting blinkers while working outside his stablemate through early fractions of :12.40 and...

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TDN Derby Top 20: Upheaval in the Ranks

A new kingpin graces the No. 1 slot after a wild, final weekend of 100-point preps. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths, with several horses included here who are currently below the cut.   1) PRACTICAL MOVE (c, Practical Joke--Ack Naughty, by Afleet Alex) O-Leslie & Pierre Jean Amestoy & Roger Beasley; B-Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $90,000 RNA yrl '21 KEESEP; $230,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-4-1-2,...

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Fiske Assessment Keeps Winchells in Safe Hands

A Sunday afternoon in August, back in the 1970s, and a student at U.C. Davis is trying to catch up on his history notes ahead of his final semester. There's a knock at the door. Two girls. "They wanted to know if my roommate Morgan was home," remembers David Fiske. "He was not. Asked if my roommate Jeff was home. He was not. Asked if my roommate Pat was home. He was not." Nothing else for it, so they wondered if Fiske would like to come along to a party....

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Todd Pletcher Joins TDN Writers' Room Podcast

It's that time of the year, when Todd Pletcher is in the headlines virtually every weekend. He won last Saturday's GII Louisiana Derby with Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo), has the favorite in Saturday's GI Curlin Florida Derby in Forte (Violence) and the following week will head to Keeneland for the GI Toyota Blue Grass, where Tapit Trice (Tapit) could be the horse to beat. To get Pletcher's latest thoughts on his wealth of 3-year-old talent we had him join us on this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. Pletcher...

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The Week In Review: Opposites Attracting Attention

Saturday's two 100-point preps for the GI Kentucky Derby yielded a pair of colts who are polar opposites in many ways. Yet the stock is on the rise for both Two Phil's (Hard Spun) and Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo), as their respective scores in the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks and GII Louisiana Derby are attracting attention while stamping both as legitimate mid-tier threats on the Triple Crown totem pole. Two Phil's ($150,000 KEESEP) has appeal as a 4-for-8 blue-collar closer/stalker whose strengths are versatility and adaptability. He's won sprinting and routing...

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Uncle Mo's Kingsbarns Stays Perfect, Wires Louisiana Derby

Spendthrift Farm's Kingsbarns (c, 3, Uncle Mo--Lady Tapit, by Tapit) made it a perfect three-for-three in a dominating, front-running performance in Saturday's GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. 'TDN Rising Star' Disarm (Gun Runner) was second; 'TDN Rising Star' Jace's Road (Quality Road) was third. Well-backed at odds of 9-2 from a 6-1 morning-line quote, Kingsbarns was sent to the front by Flavien Prat from post six and led the way through easy fractions of :24.71 and :49.60 with Jace's Road shadowing in second. Kingsbarns began to shake free...

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TDN Derby Top 12: Forte Vs. Everyone Else

Only one contender within the Top 12 was in action last week. But Sunday's news about 'TDN Rising Star' Arabian Knight (Uncle Mo) being declared off the GI Kentucky Derby trail left a void within the top tier that widens the gap between the juvenile champ and a cast of aspirants aiming to define themselves at longer distances. 1) FORTE (c, Violence--Queen Caroline, by Blame) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; B-South Gate Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $80,000 Wlg '20 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP....

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The TDN Derby Top 12: Forte Crowns Himself The New Kingpin

A trio of graded stakes preps in Florida, California and New York yielded a reshuffled deck this past weekend as we edge within the two-month mark for the May 6 GI Kentucky Derby. 1) FORTE (c, Violence--Queen Caroline, by Blame) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Repole Stable & St. Elias Stable; B-South Gate Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $80,000 Wlg '20 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt, MGISW, 6-5-0-0, $1,833,230. Last start: Won GII Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park Mar. 4. KY Derby Points: 90....

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TDN Derby Top 12 For Mar. 2: Will March Separate Lions From Lambs

The first Saturday in May is the ultimate goal on the GI Kentucky Derby trail. But the first Saturday in March is often a make-or-break day on the national calendar, with key stakes in Florida, California and New York providing an uptick in intensity. 1) ARABIAN KNIGHT (c, Uncle Mo--Borealis Night, by Astrology) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.; B-Corser Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $250,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $2,300,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $544.275 Last start: 1st GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park,...

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This Side Up: Lecomte Starts a New Cycle

And so we begin anew. The GIII Lecomte S. always warms the heart: it's like noticing the first buds on the bare trees, as the quiet midwinter promise--familiar, expected, miraculous--of another spring to come. In trees, each new cycle is nourished by past decay: by roots extending into soil enriched by the leaves discarded at the end of the previous one. And actually it's not dissimilar with selective breeding, so that each generation can recycle its speed, stamina, beauty, bravery. The world may be a very different place, on and...

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