Forte too tenacious for favourite Cave Rock in FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile

Todd Pletcher-trained Forte stunned hot favourite Cave Rock to claim a hard fought win in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland.

Ridden by Irad Ortiz jnr, the colt broke well from the stalls and travelled quietly in the first half of the race.

Taking a wide line around the final bend, the bay locked horns with the race leaders, Cave Rock and National Treasure, and ground out an impressive win for trainer Pletcher.

The winning handler said: "Obviously delighted with everything. He got a beautiful trip. Just kept coming. I think we both got a fair run at it today (referring to being second choice to Cave Rock).

"He got that two-turn experience (in the Breeders' Futurity) and it paid off today. He's much more professional today. We learned a little something (from the Breeders' Futurity) and we tweaked off the last race and it paid off coming here.

"The last time, he made the lead pretty comfortably, but he got to waiting and laying on the horse next to him so today, if we were lucky enough to get in a position to get (the lead), we wanted to give ourselves plenty of space and not get close to the horse next to him."

Part-owner Mike Repole won the extended nine-furlong contest with Uncle Mo in 2010 and feels connections have plenty to look forward to with this son of Violence.

He said: "I'm so blessed to have such a unbelievable trainer in Todd Pletcher, who is also an incredible person.

"These trainers have a tough job and outside of that, Todd is not only a great husband but also a son to his parents who are both still alive.

"Irad is an Eclipse Award-winning jockey and in all honesty he is five lengths ahead of the field and he gave our horse an amazing ride.

"In his last race he had to knuckle down and fight for the win and I think that helped him when we got alongside Cave Rock.

"It looks like Forte, whose name means strength, will get better and better and we have so much to look forward to with him."

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