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Kentucky Derby favorite Forte scratched ahead of Saturday’s race

The top horse is out of the race.

HORSE RACING: MAY 06 Kentucky Derby
Forte is worked out on the backside at Churchill Downs in the early morning before the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2023, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Forte, the odds-on favorite to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby, has officially been scratched according to the Kentucky Derby social media account. The field for Saturday’s race is now down to 18, which is the smallest field since the 2020 Kentucky Derby which featured 15 horses.

The horse was a 3-1 morning-line favorite and had dropped slightly to 4-1 prior to the withdrawal, according to ESPN. Tapit Trice and Angel of Empire, both listed at 6-1 ahead of Forte’s withdrawal, now become the favorites to win this race.

This withdrawal is the latest setback for this year’s event, which has featured several scratches leading up to the race. There were three withdrawals on Thursday alone, with Continuar, Practical Move and Lord Miles all being scratched. All those horses have been replaced. Skinner was also scratched and is unlikely to be replaced, which puts the field at 18 ahead of Saturday’s race.