Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s champion and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Forte (Violence) has been installed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite from post 11 in a field of a dozen 3-year-olds entered in next Saturday’s $1-million GI Curlin Florida Derby presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa at Gulfstream Park.
The GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner established himself as a clear early favorite for the GI Kentucky Derby following an impressive win while making his sophomore debut in the GII Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.
“We love the positioning of the Florida Derby five weeks out,” Pletcher said. “We’re happy about that. It gives us a little more time to stay in Florida before we ship north and hopefully have a couple more weeks of good weather before we need to move up. The Florida Derby on its own is a very important race. Historically, it’s been a stallion-making race and an important Grade I on any horse’s resume.”