Tipsheet: Louisiana Derby 2023

March 20th, 2023

A strong field of 12 three-year-olds will travel 1 3/16 miles on the dirt at Fair Grounds in Saturday’s $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2). The 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby contest will reward the top-five finishers with qualifying points on a 100-40-30-20-10 basis.

Louisiana Derby Picks

  • #5 Disarm
  • #2 Instant Coffee
  • #6 Kingsbarns
  • #7 Cagliostro

Louisiana Derby Wagers

  • $15 win and place: #5 Disarm
  • 50-cent trifecta: 5 with 2, 6, 7 with all
  • 50-cent trifecta: 2, 6, 7 with 5 with all

Louisiana Derby Contenders

#1 SHOPPER’S REVENGE (12-1): The gray son of Tapit has been first or second in each of his three starts to date for Steve Asmussen. He was a clear second in a recent allowance race on the course and will be a top-three threat with improvement from the rail.

#2 INSTANT COFFEE (2-1): The Bolt d’Oro colt has notched graded stakes races in two straight and rates a big chance again. The Brad Cox pupil will appreciate the added distance on Saturday. Regular pilot Luis Saez will be in the stirrups.

#3 CURLY JACK (12-1): The Tom Amoss trainee never fired in the Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds Feb. 18 but gets another chance in his second appearance of 2023. The Good Magic sophomore shows a trio of solid morning drills in advance of Saturday and could challenge for a placing with his best showing under Edgar Morales.

#4 SUN THUNDER (5-1): Kenny McPeek's Into Mischief colt closed from well back early to finish second in the Risen Star (G2) behind Angel of Empire last time out. He won't have to contend with the Risen Star winner here and could move forward with the extra distance. He wouldn’t be a total surprise with Brian Hernandez in the controls.

#5 DISARM (10-1): The Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred finished a clear second behind the very good Two Eagles River in an allowance tilt to commence his three-year-old season and gets top billing for Asmussen. The chestnut son of Gun Runner is bred to handle the trip, and he should sit a bit closer to the early tempo here. Joel Rosario takes the reins for the first time.

#6 KINGSBARNS (6-1): The $800,000 Uncle Mo colt is two-for-two and will make his stakes debut in this demanding spot. Todd Pletcher's pupil possesses early speed, as well as a fine turn of foot, and he could be any kind going forward. Flavien Prat comes in for the ride.

#7 CAGLIOSTRO (12-1): The bay son of Upstart has improved with each career try to date and has a lot of value in the cast for Cherie DeVaux. The $330,000 juvenile buy is proven on the surface and could peak making his third start off the layoff. Christian Torres will be in the silks.

#8 SINGLE RULER (15-1): Keith Desormeaux's charge was a belated fifth in the Risen Star and will need a lifetime best to make noise late against this group. The son of Empire Maker has improved since adding blinkers two back, but victory would still be a surprise. David Cohen takes the reins.

#9 TAPIT’S CONQUEST (10-1): The Risen Star fourth made a big middle move before tiring late last time out for conditioner Brad Cox, who has three contenders in the field. The chestnut has never run a bad one and has a lot of appeal for the exotics with Manny Franco in the stirrups.

#10 DENINGTON (12-1): The Kenny McPeek trainee put in a fine late run to defeat a nice allowance field at Fair Grounds in his latest endeavor. The Gun Runner gray needs to take another step forward to upset the race, but he is one who might appreciate the extra ground in the event. Junior Alvarado inherits the mount. 

#11 JACE’S ROAD (12-1): The Gun Runner S. romper came home fifth in the slop in the Southwest S. (G3) most recently for Cox. The bay son of Quality Road lands in a field with little early pace, so he has a chance to be the one to catch at the top of the lane. Florent Geroux has the assignment. 

#12 BASELINE BEATER (20-1): The improving Flatter gelding displayed a fine closing kick to graduate on this strip in his latest offering. He draws widest while facing a deep field, and seems unlikely to win unless the pace completely collapses. Corey Lanerie will be up.