Unraced since he won the Grade 1 Florida Derby on April 1, Eclipse Award winner Forte still picked up where he left off when he was scratched from the Kentucky Derby. He was favored Sunday in one futures market to win Belmont Stakes 2023.
The Violence colt was best-priced at 5-2, actually plus 275, at William Hill U.K., according to the England-based website Oddschecker.com. Carrying a four-race winning streak, Forte was as short as 2-1 at Ladbrokes and slightly longer than that at plus 225 at Coral.
Forte had a 1:00.44 workout covering five furlongs Saturday at Belmont Park and is widely expected to come off the Kentucky veterinarian list within the next week. He was put there because of a foot bruise that led to his being scratched on the morning of the Derby, where he was the early favorite. That diagnosis also made Forte ineligible for last weekend’s Preakness.
Tapit Trice, the seventh-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby who is a stablemate of Forte in the Todd Pletcher barn, was a consensus second choice at 7-2 in the U.K. survey.
Angel of Empire, the Brad Cox-trained colt who was third in the Derby, was the 4-1 third choice for the Belmont, the 1 1/2-mile Triple Crown finale that will be run June 10.
Preakness winner National Treasure was 7-1, and his Bob Baffert stablemate Arabian Lion was 10-1.
The survey comes with the caveat that it does not show an up-to-date list of Belmont contenders. Possible starters Il Miracolo and Tapit Shoes were not on the board, and Kingsbarns still was listed at 20-1 even after he was removed from consideration Saturday because of colic.
Following were the best prices shown Sunday at Oddschecker.com for probable and possible Belmont starters:
|Belmont Stakes 2023||Int’l||Trainer||Last race|
|Forte||5-2||Todd Pletcher||1st Fla. Derby (G1)|
|Tapit Trice||7-2||Todd Pletcher||7th Kentucky Derby|
|Angel of Empire||4-1||Brad Cox||3rd Kentucky Derby|
|National Treasure||7-1||Bob Baffert||1st Preakness|
|Arabian Lion||10-1||Bob Baffert||1st Sir Barton|
|Arcangelo||14-1||Jena Antonucci||1st Peter Pan (G3)|
|Hit Show||16-1||Brad Cox||5th Kentucky Derby|
|Raise Cain||20-1||Ben Colebrook||8th Kentucky Derby|
|Red Route One||20-1||Steve Asmussen||4th Preakness|
|Reincarnate||25-1||Bob Baffert||13th Kentucky Derby|
|Prove Worthy||33-1||Todd Pletcher||1st MSW at CD|
|Il Miracolo||Antonio Sano||1st alw OC at GP|
|Tapit Shoes||Brad Cox||2nd Bath House Row|