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Red Route One To Go It Alone; Disarm Out, Waiting For Travers | 2023 Preakness Stakes News
Red Route One (Coady Photography)

Red Route One To Go It Alone; Disarm Out, Waiting For Travers | 2023 Preakness Stakes News

Red Route One will be the sole representative for owner Ron Winchell and trainer Steve Asmussen in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, with stablemate Disarm now pointing toward Saratoga’s Travers Stakes (G1) on August 26.

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Red Route One earned a fees-paid spot in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness by virtue of winning Oaklawn Park’s $200,000 Bath House Row Stakes for his first stakes victory.

Joel Rosario, who rode Red Route One last year in his racing debut on turf and then again in the Bath House Row, will be back aboard. Rosario has never won the Preakness, finishing second four times, including his runner-up finish aboard favored Epicenter for Winchell and Asmussen last year.

A son of the Asmussen-trained, Winchell co-owned 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner, Red Route One was third at 59-1 odds in last fall’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland won by eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and 2-year-old champion Forte. It was Red Route One’s first dirt start after two grass races, including a maiden victory at Kentucky Downs, the all-turf course in which Winchell is co-managing partner.

This year, he closed from well back to take second in both Oaklawn Park’s Southwest (G3) and Rebel (G2). He broke slowly and finishing sixth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) to thwart his Kentucky Derby aspirations and reroute him to the 1 1/8-mile Bath House Row Stakes.

“Red Route One is a horse that ran decent in the preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby until the Arkansas Derby,” Asmussen said. “That didn’t go his way that day. He rebounded with a nice win in the ‘win-and-you’re-in’ Bath House. He is a horse that will appreciate more ground, (but) we’re very concerned about the lack of pace that is obvious in the Preakness.”

The stable’s Pimlico-bound horses are scheduled to leave Louisville early Tuesday morning.

The final decision was made Monday morning to give Disarm, who would have been making his fourth start in eight weeks, more time before his next race.

“Just like him being fourth in the Derby, we’re close to where we want to be but not there yet,” Asmussen said.