By BETH HARRIS
AP Racing Writer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Skinner has become the latest horse to be scratched from the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer John Shirreffs said Friday the California-based colt has an elevated temperature.
With the defection of Skinner, the field for the 149th Derby on Saturday is down to 19 horses. The scratch deadline was 9 a.m. EDT Friday, so no other horses can be added to the field. Three horses scratched on Thursday.
Forte is the early 3-1 favorite for the Derby. The colt stumbled during training on Thursday, but he was out again Friday without a problem. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, “Everything is on course at the moment.”
Practical Move, Lord Miles and Continuar from Japan were scratched on Thursday. That moved Cyclone Mischief, Mandarin Hope from Japan and King Russell into the race.
Practical Move also had a elevated temperature. Lord Miles’ trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. was suspended indefinitely by Churchill Downs Inc. days after two of his horses died on the track after races. Investigators have yet to find the cause of either death. Continuar was scratched because his trainer said he was not in top form to run.
The last time four horses were scratched from the Derby was 2015.