2023 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile – Kingsbarns

By: John Pinder

Debuted at Gulfstream Park in attempting the mile distance on dirt in mid-January of this year.  He broke sharply from the gate in post position two in a field of eleven and immediately had to deal with traffic trouble as the horse to his inside veered in and Kingsbarns had to take up but responded well to keep up with the hot early pace.  At the halfway point on the turn, he was in good position but was along the rail with horses to his outside but the two front runners were beginning to slow down.  At the top of the stretch jockey Luis Saez was forced to ask the first-time starter to split horses and he responded accordingly, accelerating at a rate to clear the horses who set the fast pace and keeping the hard charging closers at bay.  His second start four weeks later was at Tampa Bay Downs where he faced an optional allowance field going a mile.  He broke well and took up a stalking position allowing a speedy longshot to carve out fast fractions.  Kingsbarns powered past and opened up going on to win by almost 8 lengths in the end.  In his next race he would attempt to prove his talent and earn Kentucky Derby points in the Grade 2 Twin Spires.com Louisiana Derby.  He would break best in the field of twelve, accelerating early to secure the rail position and take the lead going into the first turn.  He would lead on a slow pace for the rest of the backstretch and into the far turn.  Once the field started to challenge, Kingsbarns accelerated once again and held his front position all the way to the finish line; winning by 3 lengths in the end.  



I think he fits very well with this year’s Derby contenders.  Kingsbarns has shown good overall speed and versatile running styles that will allow him to adapt to the pace and positioning for this year’s run for the roses.  He has won on the lead going a mile and three-sixteenth; he has pressed a fast pace with a good mix of speed and stamina.  Unlike last year, this year’s Derby does not forecast to be a very fast paced contest and should setup for a runner with preferred running style similar to that of Kingsbarns.  



He is a son of Uncle Mo, who has already sired a Kentucky Derby winner in that of Nyquist (2016) and the grandson of Tapit, via his dam Lady Tapit; With the linage of Tapit and Indian Charlie as grand sires Kingsbarns was a highly thought off colt that was purchased for $800,000 by Spendthrift farm; in summary Kingsbarns pedigree is outstanding for distance and stamina and is one of the best bred horses in this year’s field.  He is trained by Todd Pletcher.  Yes THE Todd Pletcher😊 ; multiple Eclipse Award winning thoroughbred horse trainer and two time Kentucky Derby winning trainer,  (Super Saver (2010) Always Dreaming (2017).  Until this point we have only had positive comments about our Derby hopeful, but with everything in life and horseracing, nothing is without question.  One of the not so positive things is that at the time of this article Kingsbarns does not have a named jockey.  He has been ridden by a different jockey in each of his three starts; his last jockey Flavien Prat chose to ride Angel of Empire.



Look I get it, unraced as a two-year old, and his first work out was not until December 2022, a month before his first race at Gulfstream and he does not have a named ridder yet; but on the flipside Kingsbarns will be overlooked and should provide very good value. The Pletcher trainee has a very sound and professional demeanor with speed and stamina to match.  He is undefeated; he has won at three different tracks with three different jockeys utilizing different ways of endearing.  He is one of the few entrants with the ability to run on the front end in a race that looks like it might revert back to that running style being most effective as it did for many years before last year’s meltdown.  Kingsbarns should be definitely used as a WIN candidate.

  – Let’s Make it Happen!!!

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