Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gonzalo Anteliz Jr/CSM/Shutterstock (13854602p) , 2023, Hallandale Beach, FL, USA: Forte (11) ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., wins the Florida Derby on Florida Derby Day at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida on Gonzalo Anteliz, Jr./Eclipse Sportswire/CSM Horse Racing Florida Derby Day, Hallandale Beach, USA – 01 Apr 2023
Fred Faour: Kentucky Derby horse profile – meet your probable favorite, Forte
Forte, if he makes the starting gate, figures to be the favorite for the Kentucky Derby. If he is and wins, you can get free furniture from Mattress Mack. (See the flyer below). But a lot can happen before the first Saturday in May. Let’s take a look at Forte.
Forte was the 2-year-old champion and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He has won 6 of 7 career starts. His only loss was in his second race, the Grade 3 Sanford at Saratoga, where he finished fourth.
He is unbeaten at seven furlongs or beyond and has won five in a row. His last four races have been around two turns and he has been brilliant.
If there is an Achilles heel, it’s that he was not great at 1 1/8 miles in the Florida Derby. He grinded out a tough win over Mage, another serious contender who rallied from last, took the lead, and got caught late by the champ.
Forte had been brilliant in his earlier wins, but things get tougher as you get closer to the Derby. Forte should handle the Derby distance. The question is will he be as good going this long? He has a great running style for the Derby, but this will be his toughest test by far.
Injuries happen, and we need to see how he works at Churchill, but Forte is an incredible horse. If you buy your furniture to get the favorite, Forte will be worthy.