Kentucky Derby 2023: Early favorite Forte scratched hours before race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An early favorite, Forte, is the latest horse to be scratched from the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, leaving 18 horses.

>> Read more trending news

The Kentucky Derby confirmed on Twitter on Saturday morning that Forte will not be in the race.

Churchill Downs spokesperson Darren Rogers announced that Forte was declared out of the race. According to The Associated Press, a reason has not been announced. Forte reportedly stumbled during a workout on Thursday, which its trainer, Todd Pletcher, downplayed.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission veterinarians observed and examined Forte on Saturday morning. The AP reported that the horse galloped along the track and outside the barn.

The decision came Saturday after a morning workout, The Washington Post reported.

Forte was an early favorite in the race. According to the AP, it had a five-race winning streak and was a 3-1 favorite.

Forte’s exit marks the fifth scratch this week ahead of the race that is valued at $3 million. Eighteen horses remain in the race, the AP reported. Seven horses died in the last few days at Churchill Downs, including two on Saturday, hours before the Run for the Roses.

Other horses that were scratched included Practical Move, Skinner, Lord Miles and Continuar, according to ESPN.

The Kentucky Derby will be the smallest field since the 2020 field had 15 and was run in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN reported.

”Draft Draft Night in Duval: Thursday at 7PM on FOX30

Most Read