Mucciolo: 3 Interesting Kentucky Derby Horses I'm Watching

April 25th, 2023

What are three horses I'm excited about in the Kentucky Derby?

The 149th Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 6 is rapidly approaching as many of the contenders are closing in on their final serious workouts in advance of the Run for the Roses.

Numerous horses have piqued my interest this season in what appears to be one of the more competitive fields in recent memory. And I am especially excited about a trio of three-year-olds that will contest the historic event beneath the Twin Spires.

Angel of Empire Add Angel of Empire to your Stable Alerts :

Brad Cox pupil put in arguably the best major prep of the cast when dominating the deep Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.

The stout late runner slowly advanced under his own courage on the backside of that race, and when given his cue by pilot Flavien Prat, the son of Classic Empire showed impressive acceleration to put his foes to rest by the midstretch marker.

Bred in the Keystone State like myself, the colt gives the impression of a horse who will show improvement on the stretch out to 1 1/4 miles after earning a 108 Brisnet Late Pace figure while running nine furlongs. Prat retains the mount aboard the major player.

Further Reading on Angel of Empire:

SCULLY: Angel of Empire Kentucky Derby Context

JOHNSON: Angel of Empire Pedigree Profile

Angel of Empire trains towards the Kentucky Derby 2023 (Photo by Rickelle Nelson/

Disarm Add Disarm to your Stable Alerts :

Conditioner Steve Asmussen has gone close in this contest on numerous occasions, including with Epicenter in 2022, and he will saddle this steadily improving son of Gun Runner.

The Winchell homebred owns just a maiden win to date and would be something of a surprise to win next Saturday, but I like a lot about the colt and fancy his chances to finish in the top four. Also an off-the-pace type, the colt posted a 110 Brisnet Late Pace number in his runner-up performance in the Louisiana Derby (G2) two back at 1 3/16 miles to hint that he will prosper in the 1 1/4-mile event at Churchill Downs.

His third in the recent Lexington S. (G3) lacked a little; although, I love the return in two weeks for a sophomore who seemingly has a very bright future. Joel Rosario taking the reins is a very positive sign, in my opinion.

Further Reading on Disarm:

SCULLY: Disarm Kentucky Derby Context

JOHNSON: Disarm Pedigree Profile

Diarm works for the Kentucky Derby 2023 (Photo by Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

(Photo by Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

Tapit Trice Add Tapit Trice to your Stable Alerts :

One from the formidable Todd Pletcher brigade rides in on a four-race win streak, led by a game victory in the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland in his latest endeavor.

The $1.3 million yearling purchase likes to leave it late, and he will need luck coming from well back in a 20-horse Derby field, but the powerful closing type is beautiful to watch when he gets into gear and is another who will enjoy the added ground with which to work with.

He has registered triple-digit Late Pace numbers in three straight outings, and you know you’ll get your money’s worth with the hard-trying Luis Saez in the stirrups, as well. Regardless of how he performs in the Derby, the striking gray has the look of a Belmont S. (G1) winner written all over him.

Further Reading on Tapit Trice:

SCULLY: Tapit Trice Kentucky Derby Context

JOHNSON: Tapit Trice Pedigree Profile

Tapit Trice training at Churchill Downs for KY Derby 2023 (Photo by Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)