Kingsbarns – Kentucky Derby Context

April 19th, 2023

Projected to show speed, Kingsbarns rates as a pacesetting candidate after leading from gate to wire in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. He enters the Kentucky Derby unbeaten from three starts, capturing his career debut at Gulfstream Park in mid-January and an allowance at Tampa Bay Downs four weeks later, and all three wins have come by comfortable margins.

Top Brisnet Speed: 98

Top Brisnet Late Pace: 109

Owner: Spendthrift Farm is one of the prominent breeding operations in the world, and the Lexington, Kentucky farm operates a racing stable, campaigning 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic in partnership. The late B. Wayne Hughes restored the farm’s storied legacy, and built the current stallion roster, after purchasing in 2004, and Spendthrift is now owned by his son-in-law and daughter, Eric and Tammy Gustavson.

Trainer: A two-time Kentucky Derby winner, conditioning Super Saver (2011) and Always Dreaming (2017), Todd Pletcher holds the record for Kentucky Derby starts, compiling a 62-2-2-4 record since saddling his first runner in 2000. The Hall of Famer won a record eighth Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer in 2022. Pletcher also has Forte and Tapit Trice in the main body of the 2023 Kentucky Derby field, and Major Dude will seek to draw in from the also-eligible list.

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Breeder/sales: Purchased for $800,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Select Two-Year-Olds sale, Kingsbarns was bred and raised at Gabriel “Spider” Duignan’s Springhouse Farm in Lexington, Kentucky under the Parks Investment Group mantle.

Sire: The champion juvenile male of 2010, Uncle Mo missed the Triple Crown the following spring, but he’s made a significant impact as a sire, producing 2016 Kentucky Derby hero Nyquist and 2022 Belmont winner Mo Donegal. He stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky. In the 2023 Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo and Into Mischief are the only two sires already responsible for a Kentucky Derby winner.

Dam: Kingsbarns is the second foal, and first stakes winner, from Lady Tapit, who was Grade 3-placed on track. She’s by three-time leading sire Tapit, a renowned stamina influence having sired four winners of the 1 1/2-mile Belmont. The Kentucky Derby has eluded him so far, but Tapit’s son, Tapit Trice, rates as a top contender in 2023. And along with Kingsbarns, the 22-year-old stallion is also responsible for Disarm, Hit Show, and Rocket Can as a broodmare sire.