John C. Oxley's promising 2-year-old Classic Empire worked from the starting gate on the Churchill Downs main track Sept. 23 and clocked five furlongs in :59 2/5 under Julien Leparoux in preparation for the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) Oct. 8 at Keeneland.
"He breezed awesome," said trainer Mark Casse's assistant David Carroll. "We put him in the middle of two other horses. He left there a tad slow like he normally does and then he just went on about his business, very professional. It couldn't have gone any better. We're very excited about the work."
The son of Pioneerof the Nile broke his maiden first time out at Churchill on May 4 before scoring a win in the Bashford Manor (gr. III) on closing day of the spring meet. He was not quite as fortunate his last start in Saratoga's Hopeful (gr. I) where he dumped rider Irad Ortiz Jr. in the beginning stages of the race.
Meanwhile, stablemate Pretty City Dancer, winner of the Debutante Stakes on closing day of the spring meet, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.50 at Saratoga and will target the $400,000 Alcibiades (gr. I) at Keeneland on Oct. 7, which will be her first start since a dead-heat victory with Sweet Loretta in Saratoga's Spinaway (gr. I).