By Sue Finley
The New York Times is reporting that Forte (Violence), the Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched on the morning of the race with a bruised right front hoof, failed a drug test after his win in last September's Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga.
Forte won the Hopeful by three lengths over a muddy track at odds of 6-1.
In a story published Tuesday just after 7 p.m., the Times writes, “Shortly after leaving the winner's circle, however, Forte was given a post-race drug test, which he failed but has yet to be adjudicated before New York regulators, according to two people who are familiar with the matter but are not authorized to speak about it. The positive test was for a substance used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, according to those two people.”
The Times story does not say what that substance was.
The story, written by Joe Drape, quotes an unnamed spokesperson from the New York Gaming Commission as saying, “This matter likely would have been adjudicated months ago but for the repeated procedural delays sought by the trainer's counsel.”
The trainer's counsel, according to Drape, is lawyer Karen Murphy, who did not issue a comment to The Times.
The story says that, “After several delays, New York racing officials are scheduled on Wednesday to hear from Forte's trainer, the Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, about the failed drug test from September, according to the two people.”
A spokesman for the New York Gaming Commission confirmed the accuracy of Drape's story. “We see no inaccuracies in the story as published,” said Brad Maione, Director of Communications of the NYSGC, in response to a request for comment from the TDN.
Texts and phone calls to owner Mike Repole, trainer Todd Pletcher, and Murphy were not immediately returned.