Champion Forte Arrives At Spendthrift, Will Stand For 50k

Forte | Sarah Andrew

2-year-old champion and 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence), whose retirement was announced earlier this week, has arrived at Spendthrift Farm where he will take up stud duty in 2024. His introductory fee will be $50,000 S&N and he is available for inspection by appointment.

“The first thing I think about Forte is just how much of an honor it is for us to bring a horse like him to Spendthrift. He's the fifth champion we've been fortunate enough to add to our stallion ranks since 2020, and that's a testament to what Mr. Hughes built and the commitment that Eric and Tammy Gustavson are now carrying forward,” said Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey. “While we are disappointed for Mike [Repole] and Vinnie [Viola] that Forte wasn't able to end his great career like a champion deserves to, we are very grateful for our partnership with them. Forte is the first 2-year-old champion to retire to Spendthrift in more than four decades, since the likes of Seattle Slew, Affirmed and Lord Avie. That's some pretty special company, and we couldn't be more excited about his future.”

Racing for Repole Stable and Viola's St. Elias Stable, Forte was named champion 2-year-old colt after a season which saw him break his maiden by 7 3/4 lengths on debut going five furlongs at Belmont and pick up three consecutive Grade I victories in the Hopeful S., the Breeders' Futurity and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. As a 3-year-old, he took the GII Fountain of Youth S. and the GI Curlin Florida Derby.

“Forte has given us the ride of a lifetime on the track and done everything asked of him and more under tremendous training by Todd Pletcher,” said Viola. “We are blessed to have raced such a talented horse in partnership with Mike Repole, and excited about his prospects as a sire at Spendthrift Farm.”

Repole added, “Vinnie and I are so fortunate to be blessed with this ultra-talented colt. Forte's 2-year-old season, from breaking his maiden at five furlongs in May and winning three Grade I's including capping it off with a spectacular effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, left us in awe. To come back at three and win the Fountain of Youth, Florida Derby and Jim Dandy, and run second in the Belmont at 1 1/2 miles, was amazing. Forte is just a special horse.”

Forte retired with career earnings of $3,029,830.

“Forte just exuded class in everything he did, which is something you only see from those few special ones that come through,” Pletcher said. “Some probably won't quite appreciate how special he was because of the bad luck we faced this year. Obviously, the timing could not have been worse to have the foot bruise that kept him out of the Derby, and we have been battling a quarter crack on a different foot that was going to force us to miss the Breeders' Cup and all our goals for the fall and winter. I've been fortunate to train three colts that were champion 2-year-olds but Forte is the first to win three Grade I's at two. Horses like that don't come around often and we'll miss him in the barn.”

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