Trainer Todd Pletcher suspended for positive drug test for Forte

NEW YORK — Hall of Fame horse trainer Todd Pletcher said Forte, who was injured hours before last weekend’s Kentucky Derby, tested positive for drugs in 2022. He was suspended for a day and fined.

Forte was disqualified after testing positive for meloxicam after winning the Hopeful Stakes in Saratoga, upstate New York, on Sept. 5, 2022, according to the ruling published Thursday on the New York State Gambling Commission’s website. became.

This drug is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Pletcher was also fined $1,000. Forte owners Mike Lepol and Vincent Viola will be stripped of their $165,000 purse income.

Pletcher, who plans to appeal, was granted a stay of his suspension and was allowed to work, the ruling said. However, if the hearing is not completed within 90 days of the judgment, the Commission may terminate the stay.

Pletcher appeared before a New York state jury on Wednesday.

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Forte was an early favorite to win last weekend’s Kentucky Derby, but was scratched by state officials for a contused right front leg hours before Saturday’s race. The stallion has been on the Kentucky Veterans List for 14 days and will not be able to run at Preakness on May 20.

After Hopeful, Forte won the Breeders’ Futurity and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, earning him the Eclipse Award for Two-Year-Old Champion. Pletcher has won the Eclipse for the eighth time in his career as a top trainer in Japan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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