By Bill Finley
Forte (Violence), the soon-to-be-named champion 2-year-old male of 2022, will kick off his 3-year-old campaign in the GII Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream, reports trainer Todd Pletcher. The Mar. 4 race will be his first since he won the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
“I like the timing of the Fountain of Youth for his first race back,” Pletcher said in a text message.
Pletcher has won the Fountain of Youth three times. He said that after the Fountain of Youth he will look to run Forte in either the GI Blue Grass S. or the GI Florida Derby.
“I like the Grade I status of those races and the timing. As for the Blue Grass, he certainly seems to like the track at Keeneland,” Pletcher said.
In addition to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Forte won this year's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland.
At 10-1, Forte was made the individual betting favorite in the first round of the Derby Future Wager bet.
Owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, Forte was a $110,000 purchase at Keeneland September. After breaking his maiden at Belmont, he finished fourth in the GIII Sanford S. before winning the GI Hopeful S. Facing Cave Rock (Arrogate), who was sent off at 2-5, in the Juvenile, Forte bested the previously undefeated colt at 5-1.