June 10, 2023
Forte Crushes Magic in Florida Derby Thriller

Youth champion of final yr power He turned what appeared like an ostensible defeat right into a dramatic one-length victory on the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on April 1. Gulfstream Park.

Son of Repole Stable and St Elias Stable Violence He overcame a tough post position and made five wide moves, dropping the far return before catching and passing Mage from OGMA Investments, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing and CMNWLTH in the final stage.

The victorious dark bay/brown colt won his fifth race in a row and his sixth of seven races overall on May 6 to bolster his status as a premier contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1). Churchill Downs.

Photo: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson

Forte is taken to the winners’ circle at Gulfstream Park

“I finally thought it was amazing,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “I was worried when the draw came out and after 11. Statistically (it’s) we know that going 1 1/8 mile down the Gulfstream is a really big disadvantage.

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“The last hundred yards was the most impressive to me. He came up to me on the eighth post and looked defeated.”

Forte’s victory brought Pletcher’s record number of Florida Derby wins to seven and gave afternoon jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. his sixth victory.

st. “We have the best athlete in thoroughbred racing: Irad Ortiz Jr.,” said Vinnie Viola, co-owner of Elias Stable. “He produced four to six sizes of horse.”

Out of his responsibility on the 3-year-olds’ 12-horse course, Forte was instantly angled inward by Ortiz with the fast-approaching first flip.

Colt ranks ninth as a Southern California shipper Fort Bragg , rushed to the lead from submit quantity 10 led by rider Joel Rosario and set fractions of :23.57, :46.71 and 1:10.63. C2 Race Stables Mr. Peeks and Edwin Gonzalez sat again a second and a half lengths.

Forte wins 2023 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park
Photograph: Coglianese Images/G. Sonny Hughes

Fort Bragg leads the Florida Derby subject on the first nook at Gulfstream Park

“Going to the quarter-post (Forte) gave me an excellent feeling,” Ortiz mentioned of Forte. “He held the string and the horse exterior moved and gave me an excellent feeling and is able to roll.”

Ortiz steered Forte out of the far nook. He nonetheless needed to catch up. Wizard And Hurricane Mischief Down the lane, he regarded poised to complete third till an exciting late rally win on the final yards.

The 1-5 favourite, Forte reported a 1:48.51 win time for 1 1/8 mile on a quick important observe. He paid $2.60 to beat the most important Florida Derby subject since Massive Brown beat 11 opponents from 12 in 2008.

Wizard and jockey Luis Saez completed second, two lengths forward of Castleton Lyons’ Cyclone Mischief, together with The Albaugh Household and Javier Castellano.

Forte wins 2023 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park
Photograph: “Coglianese Images”

Forte beat Mage to win Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park

“(Mage) could also be drained however keep in mind, that is his third race,” mentioned coach Gustavo Delgado Jr. “What number of races did it take for Forte to get to this degree?”

The Florida Derby was the best preparation within the historical past of the Kentucky Derby, with 24 Rose Run winners and top-five finishers scoring acceptable for the Kentucky Derby on a 100-40-30-20-10 scale. .

“I believe it is Churchill’s flip,” mentioned coach Dale Romans, who presently holds 45 factors for Cyclone Mischief. “I assumed he gave the impression to be dealing with[distance]properly immediately. The tempo situation may be a little bit totally different (1 1/4 miles). It would even be higher for him.”

All the pieces goes properly, Forte will certainly be a part of Run for the Roses. He ready for the Florida Derby with a 4 1/2-length victory at Gulfstream on the March 4 Youth Betting Fountain (G2).

“I did not thoughts operating the eleventh (as a result of) they have been going to run twentieth within the (Kentucky) Derby,” co-owner Mike Repole mentioned, “so I assumed he had an unbelievable coaching.”

“It continues to shock us. It is getting higher and higher,” Pletcher mentioned. “He is managed a distance of 1 mile and one eighth, and actually he most likely ran a mile and three sixteenths immediately. That offers you lots of confidence going ahead.”

Forte wins 2023 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park
Photograph: “Coglianese Images”

Hyperlinks within the winners circle at Gulfstream Park

Pletcher’s earlier Florida Derby winners messy dad (2007), structure (2014), materiality (2015), all the time dream (2017), audible (2018) and Identified Agenda (2021).

Forte, exterior Blame mare Queen Caroline bred by Amy Moore’s South Gate Farm in Kentucky. The dam has one other 2-year-old foal. Uncle Mo .

“I am speechless,” mentioned Amy Moore of South Gate Farm. “I am so happy with him and his mom. It is a terrific feeling. I am unable to imagine my first foal has change into like this. I do not know the place I am going from right here, nevertheless it undoubtedly feels good.” Proper now.”


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