Morning-line favorite Forte was scratched from the Kentucky Derby (G1) by order of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission state veterinarian on Saturday morning.
The Todd Pletcher trainee galloped at Churchill Downs prior to the vet inspection. Mike Repole, who co-owns Forte with St. Elias Stables, reported that the concern was a bruised right front foot.
Forte’s regular rider, Irad Ortiz Jr., will now move to Cyclone Mischief from the Dale Romans barn.
Forte is the fifth in a series of withdrawals in the past 48 hours, following Practical Move, Lord Miles, Continuar, and Skinner. According to track publicity, the 1936 Derby was the last to have five horses scratch.
Forte, tabbed at 3-1 on the morning line, was showing at 4-1. Stablemate Tapit Trice and the Brad Cox-trained Angel of Empire are now vying for favoritism.
Pletcher, who is seeking his third Kentucky Derby, also has Kingsbarns in addition to Tapit Trice.
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.