Disarm Leads Four Kentucky Derby Starters Returning In Sunday's Matt Winn Stakes At Ellis - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Disarm Leads Four Kentucky Derby Starters Returning In Sunday’s Matt Winn Stakes At Ellis

Disarm, a son of champion Gun Runner, with trainer Steve Asmussen

Kentucky Derby alumni Disarm, Raise Cain, King Russell and Verifying will face fast-rising 3-year-old Bo Cruz in the field of seven sophomores that were entered in Sunday's 26th running of the $400,000 Matt Winn (Grade 3) at Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.

The Matt Winn Stakes, which was changed to 1 1/8 miles from 1 1/16 miles due to the Ellis Park main track configuration, will be the featured ninth race on the 10-race program. Post time for the Matt Winn is 4:40 p.m. (all time Central) First post is 12:50 p.m. The card will also feature the 2nd running of the $175,000 Leslie's Lady Overnight Stakes in Race 8.

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Disarm, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, finished fourth in the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1). Previously, the chestnut son of Gun Runner was the runner-up in the $1 million TwinSpires Louisiana Derby (G2). Disarm will be in search of his first graded stakes score and will once again be piloted by jockey Joel Rosario from post No. 2.

Andrew and Rania Warren's Raise Cain was originally targeting Saturday's $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) but trainer Ben Colebrook opted to send the colt to the Matt Winn following the added distance change at Ellis Park. Raise Cain finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby. The highlight on Raise Cain's resume was a 7 ½-length score in the Gotham Stakes (G3) in early March at Aqueduct. Jockey Junior Alvarado has the call from post 6.

Brereton Jones and Naber Racing's King Russell was one of the final horses to draw into this year's Kentucky Derby field. Trained by Ron Moquett, King Russell finished a disappointing 15th in the Derby. Previously, the son of Creative Cause was the runner-up to Angel of Empire in the Arkansas Derby. King Russell and jockey Rafael Bejarano will break from post7.

Westerberg Limited, Mrs. John Magnier, Jonathan Poulin, Derrick Smith and Michael B. Tabor's Verifying was the runner-up in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) two starts ago. Trained by Brad Cox, who won the last two editions of the Matt Winn with Cyberknife and Fulsome, Verifying finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby. The Justify colt set torrid fractions on the lead in the “Run for the Roses” and faded after a half-mile time of :45.73. Verifying will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from post 4.

Skyscrapper Racing, Racingwithbruno, Brian Pagano and Patrick Grippo's Kentucky Derby Day allowance winner Bo Cruz will be in search of his first stakes victory in the Matt Winn. Trained by Al Stall Jr., Bo Cruz demolished a field of five rivals on March 4 to break his maiden by 12 ¼ lengths at Fair Grounds. In his first start against winners, the striking gray son of Creative Cause cruised on the frontend to win by three lengths in a first-level allowance contest. Jockey Corey Lanerie will have the call for the first time on Bo Cruz and break from post 3.

Here is the complete field for the Matt Winn from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):

1. Denington (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek)

2. Disarm (Rosario, Asmussen)

3. Bo Cruz (Lanerie, Stall)

4. Verifying (Gaffalione, Cox)

5. Go Solider Go (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher)

6. Raise Cain (Alvarado, Colebrook)

7. King Russell (Bejarano, Moquett)

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