Classic Empire

Classic Empire

Postby Treve » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:56 am

2yo Champion male?

2014 Colt: Pioneerof the Nile - Sambuca Classica (by Cat Thief)
Trained by Mark Casse
Owned by John Oxley

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From DRF, by David Grening (found on Casse's website)
ARCADIA, Calif. – As he watched the horses run away from the gate in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, trainer Mark Casse said he couldn’t find his horse.

“Did he come out?” wondered Casse, who was not looking toward the front of the 11-horse field.

Indeed, Classic Empire came out running and put himself right into the race in the early stages of the Juvenile. After stalking Syndergaard for nearly six furlongs, Classic Empire took the lead midway on the far turn, opened up a clear advantage turning for home, then held off a late bid from Not This Time to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by a neck at Santa Anita.

It was 7 1/2 lengths farther back to Practical Joke in third. He was followed by Lookin At Lee, Syndergaard, Three Rules, Gormley, Klimt, Term of Art, Theory, and Star Empire.

The win was the fourth from five starts for Classic Empire and most likely cemented him as 2-year-old male champion. Twenty-four of the previous 32 Juvenile winners were crowned champion, and Classic Empire’s résumé includes victories in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity and Grade 3 Bashford Manor.

Classic Empire’s only loss was basically a nonstart. He wheeled at the start of the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, unseating jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., and basically ran off for 10 yards. He was uninjured.

It was after that race that Casse put blinkers on Classic Empire. He won the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland leading up to the Juvenile.

When Casse looked at the field for the Juvenile, he anticipated there being three or four speed horses whom Classic Empire would stalk. He didn’t anticipate being a half-length off Syndergaard through a quarter in 23.05 seconds and a half-mile in 46.60. Neither did winning rider Julien Leparoux.

“I didn’t expect to be where I was, to be honest,” said Leparoux, who noted that there were speed horses directly to his inside and outside. “I had to break at least good and ask him away from there. I really thought they were going to clear me and I was going to sit third or fourth. By the first turn, I was happy where I was, that’s for sure.”

lassic Empire took the lead just before they ran six furlongs, which was timed in 1:10.48. Classic Empire opened up, and Casse thought Classic Empire was going to win by three or four lengths. But Not This Time, the 5-2 favorite coming off an 8 3/4-length victory in the Iroquois Stakes, had advanced from sixth to third and was on the move under Robby Albarado.

Not This Time kept grinding away but could not catch Classic Empire.

Classic Empire, a son of Pioneerof the Nile – the same sire as 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah – covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.60 and returned $11 as the second choice. He is owned by John Oxley, who purchased Classic Empire for $475,000 at the Keeneland yearling sale.

Oxley campaigned 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, who died two weeks ago due to complications from surgery to repair a ruptured intestine.

“Now we have another one maybe,” Oxley said. “We’d like to think he might replace him down the road.”

Trainer Dale Romans had been touting Not This Time as potentially the best horse he’s ever trained. But Not This Time isn’t all there yet mentally, according to Albarado.

“He don’t have it serious where he knows exactly what to do, that’s the good part about it,” Albarado said. “He wasn’t all out today, there’s more to him. He’s an improving horse, fourth start, I look for him in the future. He’s going to be a nice horse next year.”

“It’s going to be a fun spring,” Romans said.


I am really liking this colt, looks-wise, talent wise. I mean this crop of Juvies is certainly more inspiring than last year's but leading up to the BCJ he caught my eye. Not This Time as well, but Classic Empire moreso... So I thought he deserved his own topic.
Really hoping for Mr. Oxley that this will be his Derby horse.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Insane Crazy » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:33 pm

I like these connections a lot, and would love to see them get a Derby win. Sign me up!

Love his name, also.

And that browband! How cute! Do they do that for all of their horses?
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no, but a race where they sit down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey boy sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil? Well, I should say!
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Somnambulist » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:34 pm

Not sure I'm Casse's biggest fan but I've long liked the owners.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Izvestia » Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:27 pm

Casse gets a lot of nice 2-year-olds (and yearlings) with huge price tags, and although he races some good ones, I'm doubtful of him keeping a horse sound and winning from 2 through the Classics. I know he trains Tepin, she'd win if the worst trainer in history trained her. I just seriously doubt his ability to keep this horse going at this level.
Obviously he's champion 2-year-old male.
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby blamethewinner » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:17 pm

Izvestia wrote:Casse gets a lot of nice 2-year-olds (and yearlings) with huge price tags, and although he races some good ones, I'm doubtful of him keeping a horse sound and winning from 2 through the Classics. I know he trains Tepin, she'd win if the worst trainer in history trained her. I just seriously doubt his ability to keep this horse going at this level.
Obviously he's champion 2-year-old male.


I understand where you're coming from, but hasn't their barn been somewhat reinvented in the last couple of years? Tepin, Catch a Glimpse, and even a horse like Noble Bird show you that they are doing a better job keeping their horses in top form.

This likely coincides with a difference in who is taking care of the horses on a day-to-day basis. It is a Casse, but it's not Mark.
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Izvestia » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:21 pm

Fair. I agree with that.
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Treve » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:22 pm

Gainesway already using him to promote Empire Maker :) (Grandsire of- Classice Empire, American Pharoah type things).
Hope we will get to see him duel Not This Time again before the Derby, it really is going to be a fun Spring.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Mel Mae » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:49 pm

I've been a fan of his for a while but I think Not This Time may be the better of the two as time goes one.
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Treve » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:48 pm

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/ ... es-of-2017

Classic Empire, the overwhelming favorite to earn the Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old male, worked four furlongs in company with stablemate Kaigun at Palm Meadows Training Center, the first move for the son of Pioneerof the Nile since his likely hardware-clinching Breeders' Cup triumph Nov. 5. A few hours later, it was reigning queen Tepin taking the spotlight as the 2015 Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T) winner coasted through a solo half-mile move in :49 4/5 over the Palm Meadows turf under jockey Julien Leparoux.

Norman Casse, son and top assistant to trainer and Eclipse Award finalist Mark Casse, said he caught both Classic Empire and Tepin galloping out in 1:02. But the stopwatch only told half the story.

The level of energy John Oxley's colt displayed back in the barn was the real litmus test in letting his connections know he is ready to get serious toward his seasonal bow, which could come in the Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 4. As far as Tepin goes, she showcased that at age 6, she is every bit the seasoned pro, going about her business as she pleases.

"He looked awesome," Norman Casse said of Classic Empire. "Obviously you're a little concerned about where his fitness level is, but he showed really good energy. He came back to the barn, he was bouncing. The work didn't take anything out of him.

Finding workmates who are good enough to keep Classic Empire honest in the AM has been one of happy challenges Casse has dealt with. In 7-year-old graded stakes winner Kaigun, Casse thinks he has finally found a stablemate who can push the bay youngster as needed.

"This is a perfect scenario because Kaigun is a great work horse," Casse said. "Although he is a multiple graded stakes winner on the grass, he's actually a really good dirt work horse. They're basically both starting back and I would say they'll probably work together from here until they both start."

Classic Empire is the overwhelming favorite to earn the Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old male following a 2016 campaign where his only blemish was a mental lapse. Aside from the Sept. 5 Hopeful (G1) where he wheeled out of the gate and dropped jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., Classic Empire was a total professional in winning four of five starts, including the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) prior to his Breeders' Cup victory.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Re: Classic Empire

Postby Man o Taz » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:04 pm

Izvestia wrote:Casse gets a lot of nice 2-year-olds (and yearlings) with huge price tags, and although he races some good ones, I'm doubtful of him keeping a horse sound and winning from 2 through the Classics. I know he trains Tepin, she'd win if the worst trainer in history trained her. I just seriously doubt his ability to keep this horse going at this level.
Obviously he's champion 2-year-old male.


A couple of days ago I was lookiing for some info on Classic Empire and I found this article about him quite interesting.
https://www.thoroughbredracing.com/arti ... cky-derby/

It seems like they have a thoughtful operation set-up.
And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse.
-Bedouin Legend


Give to Old Friends, or your favorite local horse rescue.
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