Four months after his win in the Breeders’ Cup for Underage (G1) November 4 at KeenelandForte champion is ready to continue the race.
After a planned refresh before the start of the Kentucky Derby (G1), the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old in 2022 will return with a $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) prize. in Gulfstream Park March 4th.
Despite his ominous presence, nine other 3-year-olds were in the lineup, including the top tier bet winner Blazing Sevens who won a mile-long Champagne Stock (G1) at Aqueduct race track last year. The latter chased Forte in vain for the long haul in BC Juvenile, finishing fourth behind him after a slow break.
For tea Violence colt, winning 4 to 5 in 2022 for Hall of Fame coach Todd Pletcher and owner of Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, and also won Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Racecourse Saratogaand a maiden race at Belmont Park. His only loss was his fourth in the Sanford Stakes (G3) at Saratoga in his second outing.
Having scored six breezes since mid-January at the Palm Beach Downs, he picked up pace in his final training sessions to advance into the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, reaching five extends on February 18 at 1:01.41 and the same interval on February 25 at 1:01.99. The Palm Meadows surface is more tired than the dirt track in Gulfstream Park.
He’s back!!!!! 💪🏽
Video: Forte is appearance pic.twitter.com/Yi4GNKjacJ
– Stabilize Repole (@RepoleStable) February 23, 2023
“Last week was the job where we wanted to make sure we hit our target. We had a good job for him. We had a good job (Saturday), but after last week. , we also don’t want him to do much anymore,” Pletcher said. “We’re on schedule and think we’re where we want to be.”
Regular racer Irad Ortiz Jr. back in the most popular match on May 7.
Pletcher intends to provide Forte with two prep steps ahead of the May 6 Kentucky Derby in Churchill Downs, with the most likely next start being the April 1 Florida (G1) Derby at Gulfstream or the April 8 Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. Forte was 2 to 2 at Keeneland while competing in 1st grade.
The ground that Forte achieved in 2nd place, “gives us a little time for him to refresh himself. With that kind of spice, I’m very comfortable with the two races leading up to, hopefully, the Derby. ,” Pletcher said. “We’ve approached it from many different angles and feel this is the right path for him. So far everything is going according to plan. Hopefully it will stay that way.”
The Fountain of Youth provides Derby qualifying scores on a 50-20-15-10-5 scale for the top five finishers.
Forte’s performance last year earned him 40 points to qualify, as is customary, enough to qualify for the Derby, even if he earns no more for leading the race — a difficult scenario. happen. Churchill Downs officials use the points to publicize their race and as a preference system when it exceeds the maximum field size of 20 horses.
Pletcher has coached three winners of the Fountain of Youth—it is disqualified (2016), Eskendereya (2010) and Scat Daddy (2007). The latter gave the coach one of his six record wins in the Florida Derby.
The Blazing Sevens (16 Kentucky Derby) and others need more points at the Fountain of Youth, which, like other 1/16-mile races at Gulfstream, have a short run to first in two turns and finish in first place. Which position is typically the sixteenth pole. This setup is required with the Gulfstream main track which is 1 1/8 mile in circumference.
Rodeo Creek Racing’s Blazing Sevens won two of last year’s four starts for coach Chad Brown, entering the first race at Saratoga outside of Champagne. But he lost both times against Forte, finishing far third in the Hopeful Stakes in Saratoga on a sloppy track and passing him 5 1/4 of the way on a fast surface in Breeders’ Cup for minors.
Blazing Sevens pause for sight-seeing during morning practice ahead of Breeders’ Cup 2022 in Keeneland
He trained at Payson Park before debuting at the age of 3, with a similar training schedule to Forte’s.
Joel Rosario overtakes second favorite number 7-2.
The race includes the winner of Holy Bull Stakes (G3) Rocket Can, son of into naughty coached by Hall of Famer Bill Mott. He’s 8-1 on the morning line.
Mott said: “The first race back here wasn’t too hard for him and he seems to have recovered quite well. “A lot of times the first race will tire them out a bit, but he seems to have come back well, so hopefully he’ll move forward a little bit more.”
Gulfstream ParkSaturday, March 4, 2023, Race 14
- Class II
- 1 1/16m
- 400,000 USD
- 3 years old
- 17:43 (local)