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Forte, Angel of Empire finish major Kentucky Derby workouts

Syndication: The Courier-Journal

Kentucky Derby current favorite Forte works out at Churchill Downs on Monday morning, April 24, 2023 in Louisville, Ky. The horse is trained by Todd Pletcher and has already $2.3 million in stake earnings. Kentucky Derby 149 Forte 2023

Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kentucky Derby points leader Forte clocked 49.80 seconds over four furlongs in the last major workouts for several Derby contenders at Churchill Downs.

The chestnut colt with 190 qualifying points and six wins including the Florida Derby in seven career starts was among four horses trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher to breeze ahead of the 149th Derby on May 6. With jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, Forte ran in tandem outside Bright Future and cruised down the front stretch before galloping out strong down the backstretch in 1:02.3.

Stablemate Tapit Trice, who won the Blue Grass earlier this month at Keeneland and has 150 points, also clocked 48.2 over the same distance and galloped out in 1:02.3. Kingsbarns (100) ran in tandem outside Derby-eligible Major Dude and each clocked 48.40 over four furlongs.

Arkansas Derby winner Angel of Empire (154), who leads four Derby entrants trained by Louisville native Brad Cox, clocked 1:01.4 over five furlongs running outside stablemate Jace’s Road (45), who ran 1:01.2. Hit Show ran five furlongs in 59.60 outside Tapit’s Conquest, while Verifying clocked 59.40 alongside Ever So Mischievous in predawn workouts.