Classic Empire wins Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) July 2 at Churchill Downs.

Classic Empire wins Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) July 2 at Churchill Downs.

Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

Classic Empire May Rule Breeders' Futurity

Colt was perfect in two starts before dumping his rider at start of Hopeful

A dozen freshmen will attempt to establish themselves at two turns in the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (gr. I) going 1 1/16 miles Oct. 8 at Keeneland.

Classic Empire  won his first two races before losing his rider at the start of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) last out at Saratoga Race Course, where he was the favorite. He won the Bashford Manor (gr. III) from off the pace going seven furlongs, but has had issues leaving the gate in all three of his races. If he can get a clean break, he is the one to beat here.

"I’m never overconfident because I just know there’s so many things that can happen, but I was very, very confident in Classic Empire in the Hopeful," trainer Mark Casse said. "I didn’t think there was any way he would get beat, and then of course for him to pull what he pulled. Since then, we’ve added blinkers. He’s breezed out of the gate a few times. He has trained as good as a horse can train, so hopefully he shows up with his 'A' game, he runs a big race. We still have high hopes for him and we hope to make the Breeders’ Cup with him." 

No Dozing is perfect in two starts in the Midlantic and has displayed ability to stalk and pounce. Although both wins came at six furlongs, the son of Union Rags —Stay Awake, by Pulpit, should have no trouble stretching out if he runs to his pedigree. Bitumen won the Sanford Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga but faltered in the Hopeful, finishing far back. The rail post won’t help much here.

Another Spa winner, Gunnevera, lines up just outside Bitumen. He took the Saratoga Special (gr. II) in snappy time and has won two in a row. Perro Rojo won going a mile and 70 yards last out at Delta Downs in modest time, one of two for Calumet Farm in here. The other is Wild Shot, who scored at six furlongs but must carry his speed farther.

Lookin At Lee draws outside after a distant runner-up finish in the Iroquois (gr. III). He needs to carry his Ellis Park form to the big time. Honor Thy Father has flashed early speed, but failed to carry it in the Iroquois, fading to fourth. Holiday Bonus checked in second in the Sapling at Monmouth at a mile and continues to work well for this engagement.

Tiz Trevor and Singing Bullet are both Ellis Park winners at 6 ½ furlongs, although the latter went faster. Blame Will set the early pace and then faltered in the Iroquois, finishing seventh. He is a Saratoga maiden winner.

Entries: Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1)

Keeneland, Saturday, October 08, 2016, Race 8

  • Grade I
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $500,000
  • 2 yo
  • 5:10 PM (local)
11Bitumen (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey J. Lanerie121Eddie Kenneally9/2
22Gunnevera (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJesus M. Rios121Antonio Sano4/1
33Singing Bullet (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose Lezcano121Dale L. Romans8/1
44Perro Rojo (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez121Nicholas P. Zito20/1
55Tiz Trevor (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTy Kennedy121Jason G. Cook50/1
66Blame Will (KY)Robby Albarado121D. Wayne Lukas12/1
77Holiday Bonus (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz121H. Graham Motion8/1
88Wild Shot (KY)Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.121George R. Arnold, II15/1
99No Dozing (KY)Joe Bravo121Arnaud Delacour12/1
1010Honor Thy Father (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCalvin H. Borel121Kenneth G. McPeek15/1
1111Classic Empire (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJulien R. Leparoux121Mark E. Casse5/2
1212Lookin At Lee (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRicardo Santana, Jr.121Steven M. Asmussen10/1