Forte On Course For Belmont Stakes Return After Recent Half-Mile Workout

Forte New
Forte New

The Todd Pletcher-trained Forte, who had to miss the Kentucky Derby, is expected to be back on the track in early June, with the Belmont Stakes – the final leg of the US Triple Crown – firmly on the agenda.

When is the Belmont Stakes 2023?

The 2023 Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday June 10 at Belmont Park racetrack in New York.

📅Time/Date: 7:02pm (ET), Saturday June 10, 2023
🏇Racecourse: Belmont Park, Elmont, New York
💰 Purse/Winner: $1.5m / $800,000
📺 TV: Fox Sports, FS1, FS2 (Stream: Sling TV, Fubo)
🎲 Belmont Stakes Odds: Forte 5/2 | Tapit Trice 3/1 | Angel Of Empire 7/2 | National Treasure 5/1

Forte On Track For Belmont Stakes Return After Recent Workout

Forte, who was dramatically scratched from the Kentucky Derby late on based on vets advice, looks set to make amends in the 2023 Belmont Stakes on June 10.

The Todd Pletcher-trained 3 year-old who impressed when beating the subsequent Kentucky Derby winner Mage in the Florida Derby (watch below) has been back in work after his bruised foot injury – with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr – spinning him over half-mile in 50.31 secs at Belmont Park on Sunday May 21.

Pletcher said “A mile and a half is a challenge and it’s going to be 10 weeks between races, Sometimes the pace of the Belmont is going to be less taxing than certainly the pace was in the Derby. If they set fractions like they did in the Preakness, I think that makes it a lot easier.”

Todd Pletcher’s other possible Belmont Stakes runners could be Tapit Trice, who returned to the work last week with the Blue Grass winner on the cards to be heading to New York according to his trainer.

In contrast, Pletcher’s Kingsbarns is still a possible Belmont runner, but not as certain as his other big players – Forte and Tapit Trice.

Trainer Todd Pletcher Sets Sights On His Fifth Belmont Stakes

Forte’s trainer Todd Pletcher is also a man that likes to target the final US Triple Crown race – he’s won it four times over the years, including 12 months ago with Mo Donegel (watch below).

Pletcher’s first Belmont Stakes success came in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches and has since followed up in 2013 with Palace Malice and in 2017 with Tapwrit.

Kentucky Derby Runner-up Two Phil’s Could Also Be Heading For The Belmont Stakes

Two Phil’s, who was runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, is another possible runner in the 2023 Belmont Stakes. The 2-week gap between the Churchill Downs race and the Preakness was deemed too short for Two Phil’s, but with a month to have got over his Ken Derby effort will head to the race freshened up.

Mage To Skip The 2023 Belmont Stakes, But National Treasure a Likely Runner

We are unlikely to see the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner and recent Preakness third Mage in the 2023 Belmont Stakes. His trainer Gustavo Delgado is preferring a summer campaign with his 3 year-old colt, with the Travers on August 26 a possible target.

However, last week’s record-breaking 8th Preakness Stakes winner for trainer Bob Baffert National Treasure is being trained with the Belmont Stakes in mind. He’s expected to be shipped to New York this week and targeted at the June 10 race, as suggested by Baffert after his Pimlico success.

Other Possible 2023 Belmont Stakes Runners

Arcangelo, who won the Peter Pan Stakes, is expected to have a breeze on May 31 and if that goes well a decision will be made on the Belmont after that.

Kentucky Derby third, Angel Of Empire, and fifth Hit Show – both for trainer Brad Cox are other possible 2023 Belmont Stakes runners. While Preakness fourth Red Route One and Ken Derby 8th Raise Cain are also muted as heading to New York for the final US Triple Crown race.

WATCH: Mo Donegal Winning The 2022 Belmont Stakes

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