It was a newsworthy Saturday for Todd Pletcher-trained three-year-olds. Hours after juvenile champion and Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Forte was duly entered for next week’s Florida Derby (G1), Kingbarns ran away from 11 rivals in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G1) at Fair Grounds, securing his own spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
Making his stakes debut in the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby off a maiden win at Gulfstream in mid-January and a facile allowance score at Tampa Bay Downs last month, Kingsbarns dictated a slow pace throughout and had plenty left to run away from the pack through the long stretch. The winning margin was 3 1/2 lengths and the final time over a fast track was 1:57.33.
“He jumped well. I was able to get myself in a comfortable spot. From there, he did the job,” said winning jockey Flavien Prat, who guided Kingsbarns through fractions of :24.71, :49.60, and 1:14.69.
Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Kingsbarns returned $11 as the second choice while giving Pletcher a record fifth win in the Louisiana Derby. His previous winners were Circular Quay (2007), Mission Impazible (2010), Revolutionary (2013), and Noble Indy (2018).
Finishing second to Kingsbarns was another colt making his stakes debut, Disarm, whose trainer Steve Asmussen remained on four Louisiana Derby wins. Disarm finished 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Jace’s Road, who had chased Kingsbarns from second most of the way.
The order of finish was rounded out by Shopper’s Revenge, Sun Thunder, 3-2 favorite Instant Coffee, Tapit’s Conquest, Cagliostro, Baseline Beater, Denington, Curly Jack, and Single Ruler.
Kingsbarns earned 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, while Disarm earned 40 points. Jace’s Road earned 30 points, boosting his total to 45, while Shopper’s Revenge earned 20 points and Sun Thunder 10 points. The latter now has 34 points.
Sold for $800,000 at the Fasig-Tipton juvenile sale at Gulfstream last season, Kingsbarns was bred in Kentucky by Parks Investment Group. By Uncle Mo, he was produced by the Grade 3-placed Lady Tapit, a Tapit half-sister to Grade 1 winner Gozzip Girl.
A+ on this recap. I watched the race but I watched it again reading this.