The 2023 Louisiana Derby Results: Kingsbarns Wins, Disarm Places, And Jace’s Road Shows

Trainer Brad Cox’s hotly-favored entry in the Louisiana Derby, the fetchingly-named Instant Coffee, couldn’t seem to carry through on his promise and never mattered in or to the race, finishing a lackluster sixth — both out of the money and out of the top five who are due to receive the much-longed-for Kentucky Derby Road points. For a newly-minted three-year-old, he was an experienced colt. Instead, this prep was taken by a commanding Kingsbarns, with trainer Steve Asmussen’s Disarm placing three-and-a-half lengths back. Two-and-three-quarters lengths behind him came the hardworking show horse, Jace’s Road, also a Cox-trainee, who had gone off (in London) at a bracing 31-5, or a shade higher than 6-1.

It was not a brutally fast race, but it was taxing at its length, and one had the sense that the lead horses were all grinding pretty much at their limits. Kingsbarns’ clear win will come as somewhat of a balm for Mr. Pletcher, whose second place in Kentucky at the Jeff Ruby an hour earlier will leave him thinking for a bit about the next steps with Major Dude.

As for the favored trainer Mr. Cox, he’s going to be having a serious rethink about Instant Coffee who, it must be said, has now almost completely succeeded as only a green three-year-old colt can at casting doubt on everything he’s accomplished thus far. Which is, or should be, an axiom about racing three-year-olds at this level: Very few of them know what they are doing much, or any, of the time.

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