Saturday Morning Shock: Hours Before Kentucky Derby and Following Five Thoroughbred Deaths, Another Horse Will Not Be Racing

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The cast of characters for the 149th Kentucky Derby was rewritten again hours before the race Saturday when early favorite Forte was scratched.

It was the fifth scratch from the Derby in the days leading up to the $3 million race for 3-year-olds.

Five horses have died at Churchill Downs in recent days.

Forte had been the early 3-1 favorite; his absence reduces the field to 18 horses for the 1 1/4-mile race.

Mike Repole, co-owner of Forte, said veterinarians from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission had concerns about a bruised right front foot.

Forte stumbled during a workout on Thursday, although trainer Todd Pletcher had downplayed it.

He still has two horses in the race: Tapit Trice and Kingsbarns.

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