Forte’s people want to bring the horse to the Preakness. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission appears to have other ideas.
Forte, last year’s two-year-old champion, would have been the favorite for last Saturday’s 149th running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. But Saturday morning, the state veterinarian directed that he be scratched because of a minor foot bruise.
The decision was a controversial one, prompting Forte’s co-owner, Mike Repole, to complain that “we got outvoted 1-5.” The “one,” however, was the only one that mattered.
After Forte’s scratch, it was Mage, a horse he’d beaten twice in Florida, who wore the roses, rallying from well back to run down Two Phil’s late to earn the victory.
By Monday, lingering ill effects – if any – seemed gone. Forte galloped a mile and three-eighths, according to trainer Todd Pletcher. Pletcher indicated that there was no remaining sign of the bruise and that Forte would breeze Friday or Saturday.
“Right now, I’d say we’re looking good to breeze for the Preakness. If we’re happy with that, that’s what we’re thinking,” he added.
But later Monday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission issued a statement appearing to put the kibosh on that plan.
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