LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Forte, the 2-year-old champion who was scratched on the morning of the Kentucky Derby by state veterinarians, returned to the track Monday at Belmont Park.
It was his first work since the scratch and being placed on the Veterinarian’s List in Kentucky. His trainer, Todd Pletcher, said he was pleased with the colt’s half-mile breeze in 50.29 seconds. Jockey Irad Ortiz was aboard.
"He's in excellent condition and doing well here at Belmont," Pletcher told the New York Racing Association. "We got that first breeze in that we were looking for and he's scheduled to come back and breeze again on Friday, if conditions permit. We'll come back with a five-furlong move on the main track and continue on towards the Belmont."
Forte, who was the morning line favorite for the Kentucky Derby, has won five of six career starts but was disqualified from the Grade I hopeful stakes at Saratoga after a positive drug test last September. Pletcher received a 10-day suspension from the positive. All of those rulings are under appeal.
To race again, Forte must complete a workout in front of a state veterinarian and pass a blood test. That work could come at Belmont on Friday.
Pletcher, who has won the Belmont four times, could have his hands full in the paddock for the third jewel in the Triple Crown. He’s also expected to send Tapit Trice (seventh in the Derby) and Kingsbarns (12th) in the Belmont, and could also have Prove Worthy, who won a 1 1/4 mile race at Churchill Downs earlier this month, in the race.
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