Forte Scratched From the Kentucky Derby

May 6, 2023

Forte and owner Mike Repole (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)

Kentucky Derby favorite Forte was the most recent late scratch from the race

It was announced this morning amidst rumors of a bruised foot circulating on the backstretch and social media the past few days, that the favorite for the 149th Kentucky Derby, Forte, was scratched. As of the publishing of this story at 8:38 AM CST May 6, no reason was provided.

This is not the first time Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole had a horse scratch late from The Kentucky Derby. It happened in 2011 with Uncle Mo, who was also highly regarded and given a good chance to win the race.

The scratch of Uncle Mo meant that three years straight one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby was scratched prior to the race. Two years before Uncle Mo,  I Want Revenge , the morning-line favorite, was scratched on the day of the race after a filling was discovered in an ankle. The prior year early Derby favorite Eskendereya was withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby six days before the race after a filling was discovered in his left front leg.

A.P. Indy scratched from The Kentucky Derby the day before the race after exiting the Churchill Downs track lame the day before the race. He went on to win The Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic. That was back in 1992.

While we don’t currently know the reason for the late scratch of Forte we do know he is the fifth scratch from the race this year following Practical Move, Skinner, Continuar, and Lord Miles. We also know he was on the Vets list with the KHRC and scheduled to drop off today, race day for The Derby.


Churchill Downs released the following statement at roughly 8:52 AM CST May 6:

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s morning line favorite Forte was scratched from Kentucky Derby 149 Saturday at 9 a.m. by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission state veterinarian. Co-owner Mike Repole stated that the state veterinarians had concerns about a bruised right front foot.

 Forte is the fifth horse to scratch from Saturday’s race, joining Practical Move, Lord Miles, Continaur (JPN) and Skinner. The last time five horses were scratched from the Kentucky Derby was 1936 when 19 horses entered the race and 14 ran.

Program numbers for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, which has a post time of 6:57 p.m. ET, remain unchanged but post positions are moved without changing of the order of the starters. The 18-horse lineup will break from posts 1-18 in the 20-stall Kentucky Derby starting gate. Posts 19 and 20 will be empty.

Any Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 wagers including the Kentucky Derby that were placed prior to the scratch will revert to the post time favorite. Bets on the two-day Oaks/Derby Double and the Oaks/Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic/Derby Pick 3 will receive consolation payouts. All other advance wagers on Forte – not including the Kentucky Derby Future Wager – will be refunded.

Following the scratch, it was announced that Irad Ortiz Jr., who was scheduled to ride Forte, will now accept the mount aboard Cyclone Mischief.

This story may be updated

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