Horse trainer Todd Pletcher suspended for positive drug test of Forte, who was scratched from Kentucky Derby

Horse trainer Todd Pletcher has been suspended for 10 days by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission after one of his horses, Forte, tested positive for a banned substance. The suspension will begin on June 27 and will run through July 7, and during that time, Pletcher will not be allowed to enter any horses into races.

Forte was scratched from the Kentucky Derby in May after testing positive for a substance called betamethasone, which is used to treat inflammation and pain in horses. The substance is prohibited in racing because it can affect a horse’s performance and mask injuries.

Pletcher, who has won more than 5,000 races and more than $400 million in purse money, said in a statement that he takes full responsibility for the positive test and that he will work to ensure that it does not happen again in the future.

“I want to express my sincere apologies to my clients, owners, and all the hard-working men and women in our stable who put their heart and soul into caring for these wonderful animals,” Pletcher said. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Forte’s owner, Robert LaPenta, also issued a statement, saying that he was disappointed by the positive test but that he supported Pletcher and his efforts to prevent future violations.

“I have the utmost respect for Todd Pletcher and his team and have full confidence in their ability to care for our horses,” LaPenta said. “I fully support their efforts to maintain the highest standards of integrity and sportsmanship in the sport of horse racing.”

Pletcher is one of the most successful trainers in the history of horse racing, and his suspension is likely to be felt throughout the industry. The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest events in horse racing, and Pletcher has won the race twice before, in 2010 and 2017. He has also won the Belmont Stakes three times, and the Breeders’ Cup multiple times.

The incident with Forte comes at a time when horse racing is under increased scrutiny over issues related to animal welfare and drug use. Several high-profile horses have died or been injured in recent years, leading to calls for greater regulation and oversight of the sport. Pletcher’s suspension is likely to add to the pressure on racing authorities to take stronger action to prevent doping and other violations.

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