Classic Empire wins the 2016 Bashford Manor.

Classic Empire wins the 2016 Bashford Manor.

Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

Casse, Leparoux Complete Stakes Double

Classic Empire and Pretty City Dancer both closed from back of the pack.

Owner John Oxley, trainer Mark Casse, and jockey Julien Leparoux, completed an impressive 2-year-old stakes double July 2 at Churchill Downs.

Classic Empire  started the double off with a closing victory in the $100,000 Bashford Manor (gr. III) and Pretty City Dancer did the same in the $100,000 Debutante Stakes.

Classic Empire, a Pioneerof the Nile  colt, was seven lengths back in seventh after the first quarter in the Bashford Manor, was three wide entering the stretch, and rallied to win the six-furlong event by three-quarters of a length ahead of 1-2 favorite Recruiting Ready. The winner hit the wire in 1:09.39 and paid $11.40 to win. The top pair was nine lengths clear of third-place finisher Tip Tap Tapizar. 

Video: Bashford Manor S. (G3)

Pretty City Dancer, a Tapit  filly, trailed by six lengths in eighth early but quickly improved position and held a two-length lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away to win by 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Anna's Bandit. She paid $9.60 to win. 

Video: Debutante S.

Classic Empire won his debut May 4 at Churchill by 1 1/2 lengths.

"The first time when he won at 4 1/2 (furlongs), he was almost too quick and he still won, but today at six furlongs I liked it," Leparoux said. "He was useful, but we were down inside and he's still a baby, so when he broke slow, he was kind of looking at all of the horses outside of him. So he was a little green, but after that he was very professional."