Classic Empire

This Side Up: Sparkling Rings Required For Bachelor Engagement

Even Richard Wagner would have struggled to make anything of this particular "ring cycle". In four starts, Eight Rings (Empire Maker) has so far abruptly alternated the full works--strings, horns, kettle drums--with a timid clink of the triangle. As such, he certainly can't afford to break the cycle when surfacing for the first time since his Breeders' Cup bust in the Bachelor S. at Oaklawn Saturday. Dropping in grade and distance, in fact, he needs to produce the dominant sophomore performance of a day that also features a new stakes...

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Kentucky Value Sires 2020, Part III: First Yearlings

We've taken a breather in this series during the January Sale, where I shared many conversations on themes raised in its first two parts--notably the market's addiction to unproven stallions. Time after time, it was the same story. A shrug of the shoulders, a helpless spreading of the hands: "Yes, we know it's nuts. But we have to make the game pay." Fair enough. It's a bit like the individual who asks why he or she should make a massively inconvenient personal sacrifice, with regard to the climate crisis, when...

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