Champion Forte Tops Five Keeneland Sales Graduates Entered in Belmont

June 7, 2023

Forte at Belmont Park June 3 (Susie Raisher)

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Champion Forte, who sold at Keeneland’s 2021 September Yearling Sale, leads the five Keeneland sales graduates entered today in the 155th running of the $1.5 million Belmont (G1) Presented by NYRA Bets at Belmont Park on Saturday.

Eleven Keeneland sales graduates have won the Belmont since 2006: Mo Donegal (2022), Sir Winston (2019), undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify (2018), Creator (2016), Palace Malice (2013), Ruler On Ice (2011), Drosselmeyer (2010), Da’Tara (2008), Rags to Riches (2007) and Jazil (2006). 

The Keeneland sales graduates entered in the 1½-mile Belmont are:

Angel of Empire (Classic Empire-Armony’s Angel): Owner Albaugh Family Stables purchased the colt, who won the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Risen Star (G2) Presented by Lamarque Lincoln and Lamarque Crescent City Ford, for $70,000 at the 2021 September Yearling Sale from the consignment of Warrendale Sales, agent. Angel of Empire also was offered as a weanling at the 2020 November Breeding Stock Sale by St George Sales, agent. Brad Cox trains Angel of Empire, who was bred by Forgotten Land Investment and Black Diamond Equine. He will be ridden by Flavien Prat.

Arcangelo (Arrogate-Modeling): Jon Ebbert of owner Blue Rose Farm purchased the Peter Pan (G3) winner for $35,000 at the September Sale. Bred by Don Alberto Corporation, Arcangelo was consigned by Gainesway, agent. Javier Castellano will ride for trainer Jenna Antonucci.

Forte (Violence-Queen Caroline): The Belmont’s 5-2 morning-line favorite, who won this year’s Curlin Florida Derby (G1) Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa and the Fountain of Youth (G2), is a graduate of two Keeneland sales. Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, agent for breeder South Gate Farm, consigned Forte as a weanling to the 2020 November Breeding Stock Sale, where he sold to Silver Hill Farm for $80,000. At the September Sale, West Bloodstock, agent for owners Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, purchased Forte for $110,000 from the consignment of Eaton Sales, agent. Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Forte for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Il Miracolo (Gun Runner-Tapit’s World): Willow Oaks Stable bred the colt, who was a yearling when he sold to H.A.F. Stable for $75,000 at the 2021 January Horses of All Ages Sale from the consignment of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, agent. Antonio Sano trains Il Miracolo for owner Alexandres. Marcos Meneses will ride.

Tapit Trice (Tapit-Danzatrice): Whisper Hill Farm paid $1.3 million for the colt, who won Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G3), from Book 1 of the September Sale and races him with breeder and consignor Gainesway Stable. Pletcher trains Tapit Trice, who will be ridden by Luis Saez.

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