Forte, trained by Todd Pletcher, pictured in April, 2023, in Louisville.
The 149th edition of the Kentucky Derby takes place Saturday with all eyes waiting to see if there’s another potential upset on the cards, but heavy favorite Forte is out of the race.
Forte was scratched on Saturday morning by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission state veterinarian due to a bruised right front foot, Churchill Downs announced.
Forte was listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite to win the first leg on the Triple Crown but now won’t start the race following a decision after a Saturday morning workout, ESPN reported.
Forte is the fifth horse to be scratched from the race and so the number of horses in the field drops to 18. It is the first time since 1936 that five horses have been scratched from the Derby.
The horse, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., was expected to win the race barring an upset.
Rich Strike roared to victory last year against all odds with a late surge on the inside, flying past the rest of the field at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Venezuelan jockey Sonny Leon, Rich Strike was the longest shot in the field at 80/1 and proved that anything can happen in one of sport’s most prestigious races.
Dubbed the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” – a nod to its approximate run time – the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of US horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
Here’s all you need to know about the Derby before the race takes place.
Rich Strike crossed the finish line in first to win the 148th running of The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
How to watch
The Derby will air in the US on NBC, Peacock, the NBC website and its app with coverage of all of Saturday’s races starting at midday.
The iconic race is set to start at 6:57 p.m. ET.
What’s it all about?
The Kentucky Derby is the longest running annual sporting event in the US and it has become far bigger than just the race itself.
As seen in American rapper Jack Harlow’s ‘Churchill Downs’ music video filmed at the event last year, the Derby is a celebration of luxury.
Jack Harlow made an appearance at the 148th Kentucky Derby and will be back for the 149th running.
Tonya Abeln, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Churchill Downs, touched on the all-encompassing nature of the event.
“It’s such a convergence of fashion and lifestyle and culinary influence,” Abeln told CNN Sport.
“So even if you’re not interested in the horse racing piece of it, there’s always something that people connect with.”
Abeln confirmed that Harlow would be making an appearance again this year, but that there would be no music video filmed.
In keeping with the celebrity theme, Super Bowl Champion and MVP Patrick Mahomes will be this year’s Riders Up presenter.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback will be tasked with instructing the riders to mount their horses before the race.
You also don’t have to be at Churchill Downs to enjoy the race, with home parties taking place all across the US – and the party menu plays an important part, Abeln explained.
How do you make the 'Drink of the Kentucky Derby'?
01:59 - Source: CNN
“Even for people who are watching at home and having their be-at-home parties, a huge part of that experience is making a menu that feels authentic to the Derby with those classic dishes,” said Abeln.
From Southern Style Pimento Mac and Cheese to Kentucky Butter Cake, menus will likely have been tinkered with plenty of times before hosts have settled on their ultimate Derby Day buffet.
The quintessential Kentucky Derby Mint Julep cocktail is a must for anyone watching, Abeln added.
The Kentucky Derby has become an event far bigger than just the race itself.
With the 150th edition of the race coming up next year, changes have already been made at the venue leading up to the celebratory milestone.
Fans may notice that a new permanent structure has been added on the first turn of the racetrack to provide racegoers with stadium-like seating.
New premium luxury suites have also been added in conjunction with the structure to enhance certain viewers’ experiences.
“We have our most premium seating and this new First Turn experience that is dining that’s actually under the structure,” said Abeln.
“Then those people come out to the rail to watch the race. And so not only is that sort of an incredible way to consume the energy of the racing, but now you have this iconic view of the twin spires and of the grandstand that hadn’t been offered before.”
Mint julep: A history of the Derby's drink
00:58 - Source: CNN
There have also been changes to one of the most important parts of the racecourse – the paddock.
According to Abeln, this was the “place where people went to see and be seen” and “to look at the horses before they run, so they can make their picks.”
This year, the paddock has been flipped around and is now “the first thing you see when you walk into the gates” with a new view of the famous twin spires.
The lineup and odds - is another upset on the cards?
This is the full lineup, how they’re posted and their odds at 10.40 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, per FanDuel:
- Hit Show 26/1
- Verifying 17/1
- Two Phil’s 7/1
- Confidence Game 16/1
- Tapit Trice 9/2
- Kingsbarns 10/1
- Reincarnate 13/1
- Mage 17/1
- Disarm 24/1
- Jace’s Road 32/1
- Sun Thunder 30/1
- Angel of Empire 9/2
- Raise Cain 30/1
- Derma Sotogake 7/1
- Rocket Can 27/1
- Cyclone Mischief 32/1
- Mandarin Hero 21/1
- King Russell 32/1
Following protests at this year’s Grand National in the United Kingdom in April, Abeln said that Churchill Downs had an “obligation” to look after fans, athletes and the horses.
“As a company and a leader in the horse racing industry, we feel a real obligation to be a frontrunner and ensure the safety and security standards,” Abeln said, adding the importance of keeping horses safe.
“So for us, we feel very confident about the standards that we have for ourselves and the obligation we have for athletes that are participating in our event on our properties.”
Since the start of Kentucky Derby week, four race horses have died in separate incidents within a five-day stretch.
In a Wednesday statement, officials said: “While a series of events like this is highly unusual, it is completely unacceptable. We take this very seriously and acknowledge that these troubling incidents are alarming and must be addressed.”
Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), owners of the famed Kentucky Derby, have since indefinitely suspended racehorse trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr., owner of two of the horses which died.
The decision means Lord Miles, another horse trained by Joseph, cannot run as planned in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
Joseph Jr. has disagreed with the CDI’s decision.
“Most definitely I am a scapegoat,” Joseph told CNN affiliate WDRB. “I’m the scapegoat. They’ve had more deaths this week, and here is Saffie, this is the problem. Trust me, it’s hard enough that our horses have their issues.”
“But the reality of it is that … I’ve never had horses that die from that issue before. They’ve had injuries but never from something that was unknown. It’s unknown what caused it.”
Why did Forte get scratched from Derby? ›
— State veterinarians on Saturday morning scratched Forte, the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, after examining him and finding him unfit to compete because of a bruise on his right front hoof. Rumors that the colt was unwell had swirled throughout Churchill Downs over the week.Why was Forte scratched from the race? ›
Forte Scratched from 2023 Kentucky Derby With Foot Injury; Was Betting Favorite.Was Forte scratched from the Kentucky Derby 2023? ›
Forte was the fifth horse to scratch from the 2023 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, hours before post time. The race is down to 18 horses following Forte's scratch on Saturday morning.Who was scratched from the Derby? ›
Forte was scratched on Saturday morning by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission state veterinarian due to a bruised right front foot, Churchill Downs announced.What ointment was used on Kentucky Derby winner? ›
“I had him checked out by my veterinarian who recommended the use of an anti-fungal ointment called Otomax,” Baffert said. “The veterinary recommendation was to apply this ointment daily to give the horse relief, help heal the dermatitis and prevent it from spreading.What derby winner broke his leg? ›
Barbaro (April 29, 2003 – January 29, 2007) was a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2006 Kentucky Derby but shattered his leg two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes which ended his racing career and eventually led to the need to euthanize him.Why did the horse get scratched? ›
Horses get scratched when they're lame.
The most common scratches occur because a horse shows signs of lameness or an unsound condition. The removal of a racehorse from a race is called scratching the horse.
It was a chance encounter with a high-level Smithsonian Institution official at a luncheon held in Massachusetts that led the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks to the 147-year old skeleton of America's greatest stud sire and champion thoroughbred.When did Forte scratch? ›
Forte Scratched from 2023 Kentucky Derby With Foot Injury; Was Betting Favorite | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report.What horse is favored to win the Kentucky Derby 2023? ›
Mage wins 2023 Kentucky Derby, favorite Angel of Empire finishes third. Mage overcame 15-1 odds to win the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday in front of a crowd of over 150,000 at Churchill Downs. Here's what you need to know: Mage won by a length over Two Phil's.
Are Kentucky Derby horses 3 years old? ›
The Kentucky Derby (/ˈdɜːrbi/) is an American Grade I stakes race run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The race is run by three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles (2.0 km), the first time horses in the field race that distance.Who owns Forte horse? ›
On May 6, just hours before the Derby was scheduled to start, Forte the favorite, was scratched from the race. Mike Repole, the co-owner of Forte, cited the cause of the scratch as a bruised right foot.How many horses have been scratched from the Kentucky Derby? ›
There are five scratches in total: Practical Move, Lord Miles, Continuar, Forte and Skinner.What horses were scratched from Derby? ›
Four horses were scratched — Practical Move, Lord Miles, Continuar and Skinner — in recent days. Practical Move and Skinner had fevers, while Continuar wasn't in peak condition, according to his Japanese trainer.How many horses were scratched in the Kentucky Derby 2023? ›
Kentucky Derby 2023 updated field: Why 5 horses scratched, who remains in Derby field. Forte was the fifth horse to scratch from the 2023 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, hours before post time.Why did the winner of the Kentucky Derby bite? ›
He didn't know he was trying to help him. He thought he was supposed to outrun that horse, and he bit the guy's leg terribly — bit his arm a couple, really bad bites," Reed continued. "The horse is not a mean horse. He just was in race mode and he didn't understand why they were grabbing him to slow him down.Why is betamethasone banned in horse racing? ›
Betamethasone is a corticosteroid, meaning it's a man-made steroid that resembles cortisol, a natural hormone produced by the adrenal gland. While legal as a therapeutic aid for horses, it is illegal when found in the blood on race day because it's considered a possible performance-enhancer.Has a claimed horse ever won the Kentucky Derby? ›
With the historic victory, Rich Strike became the first horse to be picked up in a claiming race to win in the 148-year history of the Kentucky Derby, according to Churchill Downs.What horse is buried at Belmont Park? ›
Ruffian is buried near a flag pole in the infield of Belmont Park, with her nose pointed toward the finish line. Ruffian posthumously earned the 1975 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Three-Year-Old Filly. In 1976, she was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.Is secretariat buried at Churchill Downs? ›
Every year, hundreds of people come to the Bluegrass to visit a landmark known primarily only to horse people: Secretariat's grave at Claiborne Farm in Paris, just outside Lexington. Claiborne is the Fenway Park of Kentucky horse farms, one of the oldest and most respected operations.
Which Triple Crown winner was euthanized? ›
Jan. 12, 2001 -- Affirmed, the last Triple Crown winner whose riveting stretchduels with Alydar in 1978 thrilled racing fans throughout theworld, was euthanized today following months of leg problems. Hewas 26.What ointment is good for scratches on horses? ›
Applying a layer of zinc-oxide based cream (ie. Desitin®) to DRY affected areas may also help soften scabs and provide a moisture barrier to allow healing to occur. If you've been treating scratches unsuccessfully, you should call your veterinarian out to have a look.How much does a good jockey make? ›
The salaries of Horse Jockeys in the US range from $10,049 to $271,427 , with a median salary of $48,880 . The middle 57% of Horse Jockeys makes between $48,882 and $123,036, with the top 86% making $271,427.Do horses like their belly scratched? ›
Tummy rubs are the best, but when an itch comes up and there's no human around to scratch it, sad times. Sometimes a horse has got to do what a horse has got to do, from getting resourceful in the pasture…What is the oldest horse ever found? ›
The greatest age reliably recorded for a horse is 62 years for Old Billy (foaled 1760), bred by Edward Robinson of Woolston, Lancashire, UK.What famous horse buried at Kentucky Horse Park? ›
Man o' War was unquestionably the most famous Thoroughbred who ever lived. The Kentucky Horse Park pays tribute to this truly legendary horse with a majestic bronze sculpture and memorial at his grave-site, located in a place of honor, near the entrance to the park.How long did Buck the horse live? ›
Buck taught mentally and physically challenged children to ride until his passing in 1992 at the age of 45, an unusually long life for a horse.When did scratch become popular? ›
The release of Scratch 2.0 brought Scratch to the web in 2013, resulting in exponential growth in the Scratch community. Scratch is now the world's largest coding platform for kids; it's available worldwide, for free.What was the first record scratching? ›
Blending and mixing gave way to scratching, or backspinning a record in rhythm. This gave DJs a way to put more of their own musical selves into the playback, featuring their rhythmic skills. Grand Wizzard Theodore is attributed with inventing scratching in 1975.What was the first song to feature scratching? ›
Another 1983 release to prominently feature scratching is Herbie Hancock's Grammy Award-winning single "Rockit". This song was also performed live at the 1984 Grammy Awards, and in the documentary film Scratch, the performance is cited by many 1980s-era DJs as their first exposure to scratching.
What horse has the worst odds to win the Kentucky Derby? ›
Donerail. In 1913, Donerail set a record that still stands today. Owned by Thomas P. Hayes, the thoroughbred entered the Kentucky Derby at 91-1 odds.How much does the jockey win kentucky derby 2023? ›
The son of 2018 Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic finished a length ahead of Two Phil's, with Angel of Empire running third. Disarm ran fourth. At odds of 15-1, Mage paid $32.42 to win, $14.58 to place and $9.08 to show.How often has the favored horse won the Kentucky Derby? ›
In the pari-mutuel era, favorites win more than a third of the time. The Kentucky Derby has been contested 115 times since 1908, and the post-time favorite has won the race 40 times.What is the cost to enter a horse in the Kentucky Derby? ›
Before 1986, the largest number of Kentucky Derby nominees was 432 in 1981; the smallest, 32, in 1913. The early nomination fee has been $600 from the start. The late nomination has been $6,000 since 1994. Prior to 1994, the late nomination was $3,000 (1986-90) and $4,500 (1991-93).How fast is rich strike mph? ›
Rich Strike's top speed of 44.2 mph was two miles faster than any other horse in the field.How much is a Kentucky Derby winning horse worth? ›
That's obviously an anomaly among Derby winners. Over the past decade, Justify, Authentic, Always Dreaming and Nyquist have sold for prices varying from $350,000 to $500,000 before their racing careers began.Does Brad Pitt own any horses? ›
Brad Pitt has been known to ride horseback in several of his films. However, this is much more than a job for Pitt. In 2011, Brad Pitt purchased a horse and six Shetland ponies with the hope of introducing his family to his love for riding. Pitt has said he believes “riding is a great skill to have”.What horse did Jay Z buy? ›
Famous rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z made headlines when he purchased racehorse California Chrome for a staggering $55 million. The horse had just won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and was being hailed as a potential Triple Crown winner.Does Sam Bowie own horses? ›
After he retired from basketball, Bowie returned to Lexington, Kentucky. Bowie is involved in harness racing, both owning and training horses that run at The Red Mile in Lexington.
I'm not sure in some years it would have been an issue. But this year, it was." Forte is the fifth Kentucky Derby hopeful to scratch in the last three days. Skinner was scratched from the race Friday morning due to an elevated temperature.
Was Forte scratched from Derby? ›
— A star-crossed Kentucky Derby lost its early favorite when Forte was scratched and two more horses died, making it seven in all, at Churchill Downs earlier Saturday, further blows to a sport already reeling from a series of doping suspensions and breakdowns.Why was Forte scratched from the Derby 2023? ›
Why was Forte from the 2023 Kentucky Derby? Forte owner Mike Repole said the decision to scratch the horse was made by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission veterinarian Nick Smith on Saturday morning because of concerns about a bruised right front foot.Who was the Kentucky Derby favorite? ›
Forte, the overwhelming 3-1 morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby, scratched out of the race at 9 a.m.How many geldings have run in the Kentucky Derby? ›
A total of 115 geldings have run in the Kentucky Derby since 1908 (records prior to 1908 are incomplete) and nine were post-time favorites (1876 winner Vagrant also was the favorite). The following is a list of geldings that started in the Kentucky Derby from 1908 to present.How old are the horses that race at the Kentucky Derby? ›
The Kentucky Derby is restricted to 3-year-old racehorses, male or female, so a Thoroughbred is eligible for the race only once in their lives. Horses must be nominated to the Triple Crown and then qualify for the Kentucky Derby through a series of races that award points to the top four finishers.When was Forte scratched from Derby? ›
Forte Scratched from 2023 Kentucky Derby With Foot Injury; Was Betting Favorite. News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors.What happened at kentucky derby 2023? ›
Mage wins 2023 Kentucky Derby, favorite Angel of Empire finishes third. Mage overcame 15-1 odds to win the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday in front of a crowd of over 150,000 at Churchill Downs. Here's what you need to know: Mage won by a length over Two Phil's.Who owns Forte Horse? ›
On May 6, just hours before the Derby was scheduled to start, Forte the favorite, was scratched from the race. Mike Repole, the co-owner of Forte, cited the cause of the scratch as a bruised right foot.Why do horses get scratched from races? ›
Racehorses get scratched from races because of injuries or sickness, changes in track conditions, and even starting positions. Additionally, trainers or owners might scratch a horse because they don't like the competition or feel their horse may get claimed.Who is favored in the Kentucky Derby 2023? ›
Kentucky Derby favorite Angel of Empire works out at Churchill Downs Tuesday. LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As post time approaches, it appears that Angel of Empire, at 4-1, will be the favorite for 149th running of the Kentucky Derby. Tapit Trice is the second choice at 9-2.
What was the controversy over the Kentucky Derby horse? ›
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, a two-time Triple Crown winner, is nearing the end of a two-year ban issued by Churchill Downs Inc. One of his horses, Medina Spirit, crossed the finish line first in the 2021 Derby and failed a post-race drug test. The horse was disqualified and Baffert was punished.What was the payout for kentucky derby 2023? ›
Kentucky Derby 2023 Purse: Prize-Money Payout for Each Owner, Horse and Jockey. Mage defied odds and galloped into the history books with a win at the 2023 Kentucky Derby. He also earned his connections the biggest share of the $3 million purse at stake for the 149th running of the American Classic.What did mage pay at the derby? ›
Both numbers were records. Mage paid $32.42 to win on a $2 bet. Total wagering on all Kentucky Derby Week races broke $400 million for the first time, reaching $412 million from all sources, per Churchill Downs.How much did mage pay in the Kentucky Derby? ›
Mage won the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, earning a hefty $1.86 million prize for the owners — and maybe a little spending money for anyone lucky enough to bet on the horse that went off at 15-1 odds.