The 149th Kentucky Derby (G1) presented by Woodford Reserve will be run on Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The purse is $3 million, with $1.86 million going to the winner. US Racing is profiling each horse in the field. The post-position draw is Monday, May 1. Profiles will be updated with post positions and odds following the draw.
By US Racing Team
Let’s begin at the top of the charts with the likely favorite for the 149th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1).
Forte has been a picture of perfection over the past eight months, including victories in the Florida Derby (G1) and the Fountain of Youth (G2), both at Gulfstream Park.
With 190 Derby qualifying points, the 3-year-old colt is No. 1 on the Derby points leaderboard, and his impressive victories – he also was voted 2-year-old champion following his win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) — marks him as the horse to beat.
Owned by New Yorker Mike Repole, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, and ridden by the nation’s leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., Forte seems to be getting better with each race.
The Violence colt arrived at Churchill Downs on April 17 after a 14-hour van ride from Florida. Four days later, he breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02 under Ortiz, running outside of stablemate Bright Future. He galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:14.40.
“If you look at Forte’s progression numbers wise, he’s made that progression forward in each start,’’ Pletcher said. “He is a very straightforward horse to train. He’s pushbutton. When Irad asked him to sit just off of his workmate this morning he did just that.
When you press ‘go’, he quickly accelerated to put a head in front of his workmate.”
He’s already experienced being bumped early on in some races, and being forced to run wide in others, but he’s come through nearly every time in seven career starts (he’s 6-for-7).
Pletcher has two other strong Derby contenders in Tapit Trice (Grade 1 Blue Grass winner) and Kingsbarn (Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner).
Post position: 15
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Owner: Repole Stable (Mike Repole), St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola)
Career record: 7-6-0-0
Career earnings: $2,409,830
Derby qualifying points: 190 (1st)
Best Equibase speed figure: 106
Pedigree: Violence-Queen Carolina, by Blame
Running style: Stalker/closer
Notes: Pletcher is looking for his third Derby win – his others are Super Saver (2010) and Always Dreaming (2017) … Ortiz is 0-for-6 in the Derby, his best finish being fourth aboard Improbable in 2019 … Repole is 0-for-7 in the Derby, 0-for-3 as sole owner, and 0-for-4 as co-owner. His best finisher was fifth with Mo Donegal (co-owner with Donegal Racing) … Repole’s Uncle Mo, among the expected betting favorites, was scratched the morning of the 2011 Derby due to a serious stomach ailment.
|1||Hit Show||Franco||Brad H. Cox||West, Gary and Mary||30-1|
|2||Verifying||Gaffalione||Brad H. Cox||Poulin, Jonathan, Westerberg, Magnier, Mrs. John, Smith, Derrick and Tabor, Michael B.||15-1|
|3||Two Phil’s||Loveberry||Larry Rivelli||Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip||12-1|
|4||Conficence Game||Graham||J. Keith Desormeaux||Don’t Tell My Wife Stables||20-1|
|5||Tapit Trice||Saez||Todd A. Pletcher||Whisper Hill Farm, LLC and Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck)||5-1|
|6||Kinkngbarns||J. Ortiz||Todd A. Pletcher||Spendthrift Farm LLC||12-1|
|7||Reincartnate||Velazquez||Tim Yakteen||SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherine||50-1|
|8||Mage||Castellano||Gustavo Delgado||OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH||15-1|
|SCR||Skinner||Hernandez||John A. Shirreffs||C R K Stable||20-1|
|SCR||Practical Move||Vazquez||Tim Yakteen||Amestoy, Jr., Pierre Jean, Amestoy, Leslie A. and Beasley, Roger K.||SCR|
|9||Disarm||Rosario||Steven M. Asmussen||Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC||30/1|
|10||Jace’s Road||Geroux||Brad H. Cox||West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables LLC||15-1|
|11||Sun Thunder||Hernandez Jr||Kenneth G. McPeek||R.T Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine||30-1|
|12||Angel Of Empire||Prat||Brad H. Cox||Albaugh Family Stables LLC||8-1|
|13||Forte||I. Ortiz JR.||Todd A. Pletcher||Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable||3-1|
|14||Raise Can||Corrales||Ben Colebrook||Warren, Andrew and Warren, Rania||15-1|
|15||Derma Sotogake||Lemaire||Hidetaka Otonashi||Hiroyuki Asanuma||10-1|
|16||Rocket Can||Alvarado||William I. Mott||Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc.||15-1|
|SCR||Lord Miles||Lopez||Todd A. Pletcher||Vegso Racing Stable||30-1|
|17||Continuar||Sakai||Yoshito Yahagi||Lion Race Horse Co. Ltd.||50-1|
|18||Cyclone Mischief||J. Rosario||D. Romans||Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Castleton Lyons.||30-1|
|19||Mandarin Hero||Kazushi Kimura||Terunobu Fujita||Hiroaki Arai.||20-1|
|20||King Russell||Rafael Bejarano||Ron Moquett||Jones, Brereton C. and Naber Racing, LLC||50-1|
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.