Champion Classic Empire Purchased By Korean Racing Authority

Classic Empire | Sarah Andrew

Champion 2-year-old male Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile) was purchased by the Korea Racing Authority and arrived Dec. 18 to continue his stud career for the 2024 breeding season, as first reported by The Paulick Report and confirmed by Ashford Stud.

The 9-year-old stood at the farm in Versailles, Kentucky, where he was shuttled to Chile on multiple occasions. As of 2023, his oldest foals are 4-year-olds, and his progeny have won 113 races with earnings of more than $13.5 million.

Angel of Empire is his most successful offspring, who won this year's GII Risen Star S. and like his sire, the GI Arkansas Derby. Serving as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, the colt finished third. Classic Empire is also the sire of GISP Interstatedaydream, GSW Morello and GSW Classy Edition.

Bred in Kentucky by Steven and Brandi Nicholson and campaigned by John Oxley, Classic Empire won five of nine starts and earned $2,520,220. Named champion 2-year-old male, the Mark Casse trainee won the GIII Bashford Manor S., the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

At three, Classic Empire finished fourth in the 2017 Derby and was runner-up to Cloud Computing (Maclean's Music) in the GI Preakness S. After an abscess was discovered in his right front hoof, he was sidelined for the GI Belmont S. and never raced again.

Classic Empire joins GISW West Will Power (Bernardini) among U.S.-based newcomers to Korea for next season.

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