Champion Forte Breezes At Palm Beach Downs, ‘Right On Schedule’ For Fountain of Youth – Horse Racing News


Forte, following his victory in the 2022 Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s champion Forte completed his serious preparation for a highly anticipated 2023 debut in next Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park after breezing five furlongs Saturday morning at Palm Beach Downs.

The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Violence closed out his Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland to earn the role of favorite in the Fountain of Youth, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds that will headline a 14-race program with nine stakes, eight graded, worth $1.85 million.

Forte was timed in 1:01.99 for the five-furlong distance for his sixth workout at Palm Beach Downs in preparation for his season bow.

“Last week was the work we wanted to make sure that we were on target. We got a good strong work into him. We got a good work today, but after last week, we weren’t looking for him to do too much,” Pletcher said. “We’re right on schedule and think we are where we want to be.”

Forte won four of five starts during his 2-year-old season, which he closed out with victories in the seven-furlong Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga and the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, where he went on to capture the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile by 1½ lengths.

At Gulfstream Park, Daniel Walters, Dennis Smith, Anthony Smith, and trainer Rohan Crichton’s Legacy Isle, the Jan. 1 Mucho Macho Man winner who experienced his first career loss in a fourth-place Holy Bull finish; breezed five-furlongs in 1:00.80 for the Fountain of Youth. Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s Cyclone Mischief, the beaten favorite in the Holy Bull, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.02. Alex Andres LLC’s Il Miracolo, fifth in the Holy Bull, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.43.

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