Locally owned horse to run in 2023 Kentucky Derby

SIMPSON COUNTY, Ky. – A local horse owner is back in the Derby, and after coming so close last year, he wants things to be different.

“I watched the Derby replay multiple times, but I don’t think I’ve watched it once from when they left the gates till they went under the wire. I’ve had to quit almost every single time or pick it up late or watch it in a different spot,” says Steve Asmussen, trainer of Disarm, one of the horses competing in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

He’s referring to last year’s race, where his horse Epicenter was the odds-on favorite to win, until Rich Strike made a valiant comeback.

This year, he’s training Disarm, owned by Ron Winchell, one of the co-owners of The Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs, who also owned Epicenter. He’s not as much of a favorite, but still has a shot at taking home the win.

“That was a tough beat last year. Obviously, the points system is a little different this year, which is funny because last year probably would’ve been a different outcome, but the rules are the rules, and we’ll figure out where this takes us,” Winchell says.

Disarm enters the derby after finishing 3rd at the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. He’s currently 17th on the points leaderboard and sits at 30 to 1 odds.

“There’s a lot to him. He is a very durable horse, and I think the best is yet to come from him,” Asmussen says.

“Well, I mean, it’s a tough race like we were just talking about, but he looked pretty good and hopefully he’s the one but like I said, you never know, just gotta get the right trip and we can pit him against the best horse ever run,” jockey Joel Rosario says.

Rosario has a derby win under his belt with Orb in 2013, and Asmussen hopes his 25th Derby finally brings him a win. Ron is also looking for his first Triple Crown victory.