Disarm – Kentucky Derby Context

April 24th, 2023

Disarm has the look of an up-and-comer, a promising colt starting to figure things out following placings in his first two stakes appearances, but he will need to take a significant step forward to challenge in the Kentucky Derby.

Unraced 6 1/2 months after breaking his maiden win last summer, the chestnut colt finished second versus allowance rivals in his mid-February comebacker. He followed with a runner-up in the Louisiana Derby (G2), but still needed qualifying points to safely make the Kentucky Derby field, stamping his ticket with a non-threatening third in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland on April 15.

Disarm figures to keep improving with experience, but the maiden winner has never earned a triple-digit Brisnet Speed rating and his late running style doesn’t appear favorable due the projected race flow this year.

Top Brisnet Speed: 97

Top Brisnet Late Pace: 110

Owner: Ron and Joan Winchell’s Winchell Thoroughbreds finished second with favored Epicenter in the 2022 Kentucky Derby, their best result from eight previous starters. Winchell Thoroughbreds co-owned Gun Runner, who finished third in the 2016 Kentucky Derby before going on to earn Horse of the Year honors in 2017.

Trainer: North America’s all-time leading trainer by wins, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen ranks fourth by Kentucky Derby starts, compiling a 24-0-2-2 record since 2001. Epicenter and Nehro (2011) finished second for the 57-year-old conditioner, and Asmussen notched thirds with Curlin (2007) and Gun Runner. Born in South Dakota, Asmussen was raised in Texas, and he’s saddled a pair of Preakness winners, Curlin and Rachel Alexandra (2009), and 2016 Belmont victor Creator. Asmussen passed the 10,000-win milestone in February.

Jockey: Joel Rosario guided Orb to a 2 1/2-length win in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and picked up a second with Epicenter last year. Disarm will be Rosario’s 12th Kentucky Derby mount since his initial appearance in 2010. The Eclipse Award-winning jockey of 2021, Rosario counts a pair of Belmont winners, Tonalist (2014) and Sir Winston (2019), among his numerous accomplishments.

Breeder/Sales: Bred in Kentucky by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Disarm seeks to become the 12th homebred winner of the Kentucky Derby in the last 20 runnings. The Winchell’s best result as a breeder in the Kentucky Derby came via third-place finisher Paddy O’Prado in 2010.

Sire: After being represented by Kentucky Derby starters Cyberknife and Taiba in his first crop, Gun Runner has a representative from his second crop in Disarm. The record-breaking freshman sire produced last year’s Preakness winner, Early Voting, and ranked fifth among North American sires by earnings. Gun Runner appears poised to make an impact upon the Triple Crown for years to come, and his offspring are eligible to keep improving with maturity and experience like him. By Candy Ride, Gun Runner stands at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky.

Dam: Disarm is out of the Tapit mare Easy Tap, the dam of stakes winner and Venezuelan champion Tap Daddy. Tapit, a three-time leading sire, has produced four winners of the Belmont, and is responsible for undefeated 2022 Horse of the Year Flightline, but has yet to be represented by a Kentucky Derby winner as a sire or broodmare sire. His son, Tapit Trice, is a top contender this year, and Tapit also will be represented by Hit Show, Kingsbarns, and Rocket Can as a broodmare sire.

Further Reading on Disarm

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