strong, the early Kentucky Derby Favorite who withdrew just hours before the first leg of the Triple Crown last weekend, tested positive for drugs in September, according to a report on Tuesday.
The controversy surrounding the world of horse racing, in which seven horses died from injuries after the race prior to the The Kentucky Derby, took another turn this week after a New York Times report revealed that Forte had released a drug test result after winning a race in September at a race track in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Sources told the outlet that the horse was evaluated after the race but has not yet been adjudicated by New York regulators.
DEAD HORSE NUMBER INCREASES TO SEVEN AT CHURCHILL DOWNS, CAUSING MORE CONTROVERSY AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY
They added that Forte tested positive for a substance used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Forte was dropped from Saturday’s Derby over concerns of a bruised right front foot. The injury may have arisen from training Thursday where the colt stumbled on the track.
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Forte went on a five-race winning streak and was the early 3–1 favourite.
Kentucky racing officials placed Forte on a 14-day mandatory vet list this week, casting doubt on his ability to compete in the Preakness.
A statement from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) cited HISA Rule 2241a in listing Forte and stated that the horse must undergo «satisfactory training» to a state veterinarian and have a negative blood sample for be removed.
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According to the Times report, Forte’s trainer Todd Pletcher is expected to meet with New York racing officials on Wednesday regarding the failed drug test.
Associated Press contributed to this report.