Forte, 2023 Kentucky Derby Favorite, Scratched the Morning of the Race By State Vet

Kentucky Derby Previews
Kentucky Derby Previews / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The 2023 Kentucky Derby favorite, Forte, was scrateched on the morning of the race after a routine examination by the state veterinarian. Forte, who drew the 15th pole position, was a 3-1 favorite on Friday. It was immediately unclear why the horse was scratched, but the call was made by Kentucky's Chief Veterinarian Nick Smith, who was forced to break the news to owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher. Repole and Pletcher were not happy.

UPDATE: Forte was scratched because of concerns about a bruised right front foot.

Forte joins an unusually long list of Derby scratches this year. Practical Move, another one of the favorites, was scratched on Thursday. Lord Miles, Continuar, and Skinner were also scratches.

This is why there's always a long line at the window right before the race.