Classic Empire

July 29 Insights: OBS Bullet Breezer, Caravaggio Filly Debut in Spa Turf Sprint

6th-SAR, $100k, Msw, 2yo, f, 5 1/2fT, 3:55 p.m. ET A pair of promising-looking juvenile fillies will make their respective debuts while breaking next door to each other in this Thursday turf dash. EMPRESS TIGRESS (Classic Empire) made a big splash at OBS April when breezing a quarter-mile in an eye-popping :20 2/5, one of only two horses at the entire sale to hit that mark, and landed with Augustin Stable after the hammer dropped for $410,000. Trained by Jonathan Thomas, she's out of a half-sister to GSW/MGISP turfer Stays...

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Interstatedaydream Becomes Fourth Winner for Classic Empire

1st-Belmont, $90,000, Msw, 6-25, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:05.75, ft, head. INTERSTATEDAYDREAM (f, 2, Classic Empire--Babcock, by Uncle Mo) was backed down to 3-5 favoritism for this unveiling off a speedy string of works at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. The bay kept a close eye on the leaders from a two-wide third through a :22.95 first quarter. Wearing down the pacesetters in the lane, she was confronted by Miss Interpret (Street Sense) on her outside and the pair battled to the line with Interstatedaydream getting up by a head. She...

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Another Churchill Debut Winner for Classic Empire

3rd-Churchill Downs, $101,886, Msw, 6-20, 2yo, 5f, :58.17, ft, 1 length. OTTOMAN EMPIRE (c, 2, Classic Empire--Seven Stars, by Indygo Shiner) belied 13-1 odds to become the third winner--all under the Twin Spires--for champion juvenile and freshman sire Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile), who himself was a first-up graduate here in 2016. Away in midpack between rivals, the bay started to get going heading for home but still had his work cut out for him as James Graham tried to guide him out in the clear. Ottoman Empire leveled off...

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Harvard Has Them Seeing 'Red' In Maiden Romp

3rd-Indiana Grand, $31,000, Msw, 5-12, 3yo/up, 1m 70y, 1:43.45, ft, 4 1/2 lengths. HARVARD (c, 3, Pioneerof the Nile--Sambuca Classica, by Cat Thief) finished second behind a good-looking debut from American Prince (Liam's Map) at Gulfstream Feb. 28 and was stretching out to two turns off a distant runner-up effort behind Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy)'s 'TDN Rising Star' half-brother Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile) in a sloppy seven-furlong maiden at Keeneland Apr. 10. Stage Raider, incidentally, is the morning-line 2-5 favorite for a one-mile Belmont allowance Friday afternoon....

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Saturday's Racing Insights: Bros to Champions Make Second Starts

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 11th-KEE, $79K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 6:38 p.m. ET A pair of Pioneerof the Nile brothers to high-profile champions look to go one better off of runner-up debuts to close out the Keeneland card Saturday. John Gunther homebred Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile) is half to none other than Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) as well as the ill-fated GSW The Lieutenant (Street Sense). A $950,000 Keeneland September RNA, the Chad Brown trainee was beaten 8 1/2 lengths by super impressive 'TDN Rising Star' Prevalence...

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Feb. 28 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency FULL-SIBLING TO CLASSIC EMPIRE DEBUTS 3rd-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, 6f, 1:08p.m. China Horse Club and WinStar Farm's HARVARD (Pioneerof the Nile), a full-brother to champion Classic Empire, makes his career bow Sunday in Hallandale. Classic Empire was named champion juvenile colt of 2016 after victories in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity S. and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He captured the GI Arkansas Derby at three and was second in the GI Preakness S. before retiring to Ashford Stud. China Horse Club privately acquired his dam...

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Consignors Talk First-Crop Sires Ahead of 2-Year-Old Sales

As the calendar inches inexorably towards March and a spring-long series of 2-year-olds in training sales, consignors are putting the finishing touches on juveniles heading to auction, paying particular attention to youngsters representing their stallions first crop to hit the track. The TDN is reaching out to consignors with 2-year-olds heading to the sales rings at OBS and Gulfstream Park next month to find out which freshman sires have impressed them. EDDIE WOODS Prolific consignor Eddie Woods has 24 juveniles catalogued for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-Year-Olds in...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021: First Juveniles–Part I

And so we come to the group standing on the brink. The group facing the moment of truth, when their most precocious stock enters the gate and offers some initial indication as to their competence for the task for which, ostensibly at least, they were bred. As such, this should perhaps be the moment we double down. That's what we would do, at any rate, if we had real faith in the choices we have made for our mares. If we have selected their mates well, then people will be...

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Fasig-Tipton October Sale Concludes

LEXINGTON, KY - The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearlings Sale--and the yearling sales season--concluded Thursday in Lexington with the market continuing to show resilience despite a plethora of worldwide uncertainties. Through four sessions, 961 yearlings grossed $32,743,700. The average of $34,073 was down 10.2% from last year's sale-record mark of $37,955. The median of $15,000 rose 15.4% from the 2019 figure of $13,000. With 265 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 21.6%. It was 24.5% a year ago. "All in all, I think it has to be considered a...

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Adrian Wallace on First-Crop Yearling Sires Classic Empire and Cupid

Three of Ashford Stud's Grade I-winning stallions will be in the limelight in the coming weeks as they are represented by their first crop of yearlings in the sales ring. Three-time GIW Practical Joke (Into Mischief), the regally-bred Cupid (Tapit) and juvenile champion Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile) all ranked amongst the top of their class with the sale of their weanlings, and now look to continue the streak with their yearlings. We sat down with Coolmore's Adrian Wallace and discussed two of the young sires. [tdn_vimeo_embed title="Cupid and Classic...

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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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