The 149th Kentucky Derby (G1) presented by Woodford Reserve will be run on Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The purse is $3 million, with $1.86 million going to the winner. US Racing is profiling each horse in the field. The post-position draw is Monday, May 1. Profiles will be updated with post positions and odds following the draw.
By US Racing Staff
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has won the Preakness (G1) twice (with Curlin in 2007 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009), the Belmont Stakes (G1) once (Creator in 2016) and the Kentucky Derby (G1) … well, let’s just say it’s not for lack of trying.
In 23 tries, he’s 0-3-2, and almost got off the schneid last year, when favorite Epicenter took the lead with a quarter-mile to go but couldn’t hold off the late charge from 80-1 Rich Strike. “What just happened?” he asked in shock after the finish. “How?”
Asmussen is back this year with Disarm, a look-alike son of Gun Runner who sidled into the Derby field on April 15 with a third-place finish in the Lexington at Keeneland. He’d entered the Lexington ranked 26th on the leaderboard with 40 points after finishing second in the Louisiana Derby (G2).
“He’s a horse we missed time with over the winter,” said Asmussen of Disarm, 18th on the Derby leaderboard with 46 points. “He ran solid in the Louisiana Derby [and] he needed the points. He’s a very durable horse. There’s a lot to him.
“We have not gotten his best race, but everybody has seen his potential. … I believe in the horse.”
Does he believe in himself?
“I’m ridiculously optimistic,” he said, which isn’t surprising, as he leads all North American trainers with more than 10,000 career victories and ranks second (to Todd Pletcher) with about $410.8 million in purses earned.
Asmussen still hasn’t gotten over last year’s stunning loss, but as he says, he never gets over anything.
“The anxiousness of not winning the Derby, Epicenter’s close defeat last year, I think has heightened the want-to to do it,” he said.
Post position: 11
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Career record: 5-1-2-2
Career earnings: $327,850
Derby qualifying points: 46 (17th)
Best Equibase speed figure: 95
Pedigree: Gun Runner-Easy Tap, by Tapit
Running style: Mid-pack
Notes: Disarm breezed 5 furlongs on April 24 in 1:00.00, fastest of 18 at the distance, and will breeze again Monday (May 1), said Asmussen … Winchell Thoroughbreds, which owned Epicenter, is a partnership of Joan Winchell and her son, Ron, who are continuing the operation of Joan’s husband and Ron’s dad, Verne.
|1||Hit Show||Franco||Brad H. Cox||West, Gary and Mary||30-1|
|2||Verifying||Gaffalione||Brad H. Cox||Poulin, Jonathan, Westerberg, Magnier, Mrs. John, Smith, Derrick and Tabor, Michael B.||15-1|
|3||Two Phil’s||Loveberry||Larry Rivelli||Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip||12-1|
|4||Conficence Game||Graham||J. Keith Desormeaux||Don’t Tell My Wife Stables||20-1|
|5||Tapit Trice||Saez||Todd A. Pletcher||Whisper Hill Farm, LLC and Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck)||5-1|
|6||Kinkngbarns||J. Ortiz||Todd A. Pletcher||Spendthrift Farm LLC||12-1|
|7||Reincartnate||Velazquez||Tim Yakteen||SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherine||50-1|
|8||Mage||Castellano||Gustavo Delgado||OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH||15-1|
|SCR||Skinner||Hernandez||John A. Shirreffs||C R K Stable||20-1|
|SCR||Practical Move||Vazquez||Tim Yakteen||Amestoy, Jr., Pierre Jean, Amestoy, Leslie A. and Beasley, Roger K.||SCR|
|9||Disarm||Rosario||Steven M. Asmussen||Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC||30/1|
|10||Jace’s Road||Geroux||Brad H. Cox||West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables LLC||15-1|
|11||Sun Thunder||Hernandez Jr||Kenneth G. McPeek||R.T Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine||30-1|
|12||Angel Of Empire||Prat||Brad H. Cox||Albaugh Family Stables LLC||8-1|
|13||Forte||I. Ortiz JR.||Todd A. Pletcher||Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable||3-1|
|14||Raise Can||Corrales||Ben Colebrook||Warren, Andrew and Warren, Rania||15-1|
|15||Derma Sotogake||Lemaire||Hidetaka Otonashi||Hiroyuki Asanuma||10-1|
|16||Rocket Can||Alvarado||William I. Mott||Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc.||15-1|
|SCR||Lord Miles||Lopez||Todd A. Pletcher||Vegso Racing Stable||30-1|
|17||Continuar||Sakai||Yoshito Yahagi||Lion Race Horse Co. Ltd.||50-1|
|18||Cyclone Mischief||J. Rosario||D. Romans||Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Castleton Lyons.||30-1|
|19||Mandarin Hero||Kazushi Kimura||Terunobu Fujita||Hiroaki Arai.||20-1|
|20||King Russell||Rafael Bejarano||Ron Moquett||Jones, Brereton C. and Naber Racing, LLC||50-1|
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.