Classic Empire clinches Kentucky Derby spot with Oaklawn win

Fans pack the grandstand at Keeneland every spring

Leparoux said he never lost faith in the colt, who he has ridden in all of his seven career starts except for the Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course, when Classic Empire veered sharply out of the gate and dumped jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

Classic Empire snuck out a comeback win at the finish line. It is hard to believe, but with the Florida Derby, Blue Grass Stakes and Wood Memorial already in the rear view mirror, the Arkansas Derby will cap off the Grade 1 stakes schedule before the best horses in America head to Louisville, Kentucky for the annual Kentucky Derby.

He ended up being the 9-5 favorite Saturday, in front of an estimated crowd of 62,500 at Oaklawn Park, and ran a ideal race, settling close to the leaders in a pack of seven, never more than 3 lengths behind.

In no ways was Saturday's Grade 1 Arkansas Derby easy, but in the end, the champ came through with flying colors, scoring a popular and hard-earned half-length victory in front of a large crowd at Oaklawn Park.

Saturday's card is closing day of the 2017 racing season at Oaklawn.

Classic Empire has always been his own worst enemy.

Eclipse Awards voters named the son of Pioneerof the Nile as the champion 2-year-old male, mostly because of two Grade I stakes victories, including one in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. "I just needed to get there".

Casse welcomes the added distance for Classic Empire, the champion 2-year-old male of 2016 who shares the same sire as Triple Crown victor American Pharoah.

His refusal to go through with a planned workout a few weeks later raised more flags. Maybe. But if you don't accept the implausible scenario that all of them took a big step forward, then you can project Classic Empire managing a winning Beyer somewhere in the mediocre neighborhood of the low 90s.

Cruz: Close House race in Kansas 'a warning sign'
Pompeo repeatedly won with big margins, and President Donald Trump carried the district easily a year ago . Thompson's strong showing will likely also energize progressives further and boost Democratic recruitment.

Rebel Stakes victor Malagacy tracked just ahead of the champion as that top pack bunched up, and when that one put in his bid for the lead around the final turn, Leparoux tipped Classic Empire to the far outside and called upon the form that rattled off wins in the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and Bashford Manor Stakes previous year in addition to their Breeders' Cup triumph. He ranks second in the Road to the Derby standings with 132 and is a lock to make the expected Derby field of 20 on May 6.

"He just has so much ability", said Casse. "What I feel good about is we were up front, we were telling everyone the truth of what was going on and so many people were like 'There is no way he will be ready.' But the key to it all is he's a really, really, really good horse".

Now that he has the colt back on track, the real work begins for Casse in getting Classic Empire set for the first leg of the Triple Crown.

"He ran 100 percent today", Leparoux said.

Winning rider Julien Leparoux added: "He wasn't 100 per cent today, so I was expecting him to be a little exhausted".

Conquest Mo Money held for second with Lookin At Lee coming on late to finish third by half a length from Sonneteer. The #4, Petrov, had been showing speed but his early speed figures were a bit muted last month in the Rebel Stakes.

Whitmore continued to solidify his status as the top sprinter in North America by winning the Count Fleet by 3 3/4 lengths on the Arkansas Derby undercard.

I get the feeling that we haven't seen the best that Silver Dust has to offer, but this could be the day that he puts it all together with a big run. "That thought went through my head about the eighth pole. He had every right to get exhausted in the last part of it, but he kept running". Conquest Mo Money broke from the 12 post in that race, ran widest of all around the first turn, sat wide mid-pack along the backstretch and made a move to get the lead while still wide on the turn for home. He finished second in the Grade III Sunland Derby on March 26.

Related News:

  • Woman fatally stabbed by Palestinian in Jerusalem, authorities say

    Woman fatally stabbed by Palestinian in Jerusalem, authorities say

    The attack comes during the Easter and Passover holidays when police are on heightened alert because of the increase in tourism. Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks , the Israeli authorities say.
    MVP favourites Harden, Westbrook get first-round showdown

    MVP favourites Harden, Westbrook get first-round showdown

    In the third quarter, he knocked down a pair of three-pointers to blow the lead out to 17 points, before returning to the bench. Meanwhile, Harden also delivered a resounding statement in Game 1 of the series showdown with his MVP adversary.
    Ian Poulter has close encounter with an alligator

    Ian Poulter has close encounter with an alligator

    DeLaet, who shared the lead with Luke Donald after Friday's play, bogeyed the final hole to miss an opportunity to tie Dufner. Dufner had two eagles in a six-under par 65 to take a one-shot lead going into the final round in SC .
  • Man United beats Chelsea 2-0 to open up EPL title race

    Man United beats Chelsea 2-0 to open up EPL title race

    The Blues were struggling to get into the game and could not make an impact before the break, meaning they headed in 1-0 behind. Jose Mourinho has explained the tactics that helped Manchester United comfortably beat Chelsea on Sunday.
    'Fate of the Furious' races to $100.2 million opening

    'Fate of the Furious' races to $100.2 million opening

    The film opened in China on the same day that it opened in the rest of the world. The pic skewed male at 58%, more than the last film at 51%.
    Kompany ends 20-month City goal drought in Southampton win

    Kompany ends 20-month City goal drought in Southampton win

    He told Sky Sports: "We're delighted with the clean sheet and the performance". "That in Italy and Spain does not happen". That is why I am so glad for the fans we have because it is the first time in my life I have experienced that'.
  • Pence visiting military camp near Korean DMZ

    Currently, aircraft carrier strike group Carl Vinson is headed off to the Korean peninsula in a pro-active show of force . China has sought to cool tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs, repeatedly calling for dialogue.
    Borussia Dortmund angry at UEFA after bus bomb attack

    Borussia Dortmund angry at UEFA after bus bomb attack

    Speaking in a press conference, Tuchel said: "Compared to what happened on Tuesday, the importance of the game is zero". Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin admitted football was far from his mind, particularly in the opening 45 minutes.
    Governor's egg hunt back on after fugitive captured

    Governor's egg hunt back on after fugitive captured

    Any updates or changes to the schedule or the event itself will be posted on the Auburn Parks and Recreation's Facebook page. In 1993, it was moved once more to its current location, and it has found its home in Kiesel Park for the last 25 years.
  • Johnson's drive at buzzer lifts Jazz over Clippers in Game 1

    Johnson's drive at buzzer lifts Jazz over Clippers in Game 1

    It's the playoffs, you're not going to go 16-0, you move to the next game, you make your adjustments, you try to win the next one. For the Jazz, if they're are going to win this series, they're going to need some big-time production from their franchise star.
    EPL title race heats up as Chelsea loses at United

    EPL title race heats up as Chelsea loses at United

    Roberto Firmino scored a victor for the second weekend running as Liverpool beat West Brom to go third in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Manchester United midfielder in question, Herrera, has insisted team-mate Rashford's goal deserved to stand.
    Utah's Gobert leaves game after getting hurt on 1st play

    Utah's Gobert leaves game after getting hurt on 1st play

    With that play fresh in his mind, the last thing Rivers probably wanted to do was answer post-game questions. The Jazz now have the 1-game advantage over the Clippers heading into Game 2 on Tuesday in Los Angeles.


Most liked

GOP congressman says Spicer 'needs to go' after Hitler comments
After playing a clip of the statements followed by one of Spicer's public apologies, Cramer commented, "I think he apologized and that's the end of it".

Wounded Bartra says blasts 'hardest 15 minutes' of his life
If Bartra does return in four weeks, he might be able to play in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals. UEFA official Giorgio Marchetti told CNN Sport Wednesday he had encountered "nothing of this nature" before.

Jack Wilshere will discuss Gunners future in summer
I'm a Bournemouth player and we're still not out of trouble. "That's the game I suppose but for me it was disappointing". Vincent Janssen added a fourth in stoppage time.

Trump administration says Russia, Iran enabled Syria chemical attack
Both the Russian and the Syrian governments have denied any involvement in the chemical gas attack. USA secretary of state Tillerson is due to arrive in Moscow on Tuesday for two days of talks.

'Survivor' contestant who outed competitor loses his job
That's when he asked Smith, a 29-year-old asset manager from New York: "Why haven't you told anyone here you're transgender?". Smith seemed to half-heartedly accept the apology, but said he was disturbed by Varner's actions.

Radiohead walks off stage twice while headlining Coachella due to technical problems
There are three live streaming channels on YouTube that will show the performances free of charge. "This is grime. Radiohead were forced to walk off stage twice after sound issues plagued their headline set at Coachella .

Canada Officially Introduces Marijuana Legalization Legislation
The bill would add new offenses prohibiting people from driving while they're drunk or impaired by marijuana and other drugs. Products will not be allowed to appeal to youth and packaging will need to be child-proof, the government said.

Samsung's Bixby won't say hello to you until later this spring
Then again, if, as we suspect, Bixby won't be such a big deal, it shouldn't matter that the S8's flagship feature is missing. Therefore, shipping the Galaxy S8 with a crippled Bixby makes the entire thing more confounding.

Selena Gomez shares first-ever selfie with The Weeknd
After all , Selena has been pretty much doing that as she's traveled across various continents with The Weeknd while he's on tour. Recently, the couple was spotted expressing affection for each other at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2017.

Cleveland police seek suspect in Facebook homicide video
He encouraged people to report any information about any other victims or the suspect's whereabouts to the authorities. Stephens is a case manager at Beech Brook, a children's mental health facility in north eastern Cleveland .

Cormier retains light heavyweight belt, retires Johnson
Cote goes out as one of the most accomplished Canadian fighters in MMA history. "If he wants a rematch, he can have his rematch". The lines might be a bit reputation-based, but Mousasi has won four consecutive fights whereas Weidman has lost his last two.

Prabhu launches new rail coach with glass roof, GPS
The train will run from Visakhapatnam Railway Station to Araku through video conference from Bhubaneswar through video conference. Distinct features like the glass roof inside these new coaches will now allows the commuters to enjoy the outside view.

Malaysia-North Korea ties not severed
He said that they landed in Pyongyang at 4.30pm on the same day, but were only allowed to take off at around 7.45pm. Kim was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on Feb 13 while waiting for a flight to Macau.

It's a boy! Zoo confirms April the giraffe's calf is a male
According to their website , the public can submit potential names for the male calf and/or vote for their favorite names . A 4-hour video of the birth posted to YouTube has garnered 13.6 million views in fewer than 24 hours.

All passengers on United Flight 3411 to receive compensation
Dao was the only passenger who did not agree to leave after being chosen. "Currently, (Dao and his family) are focused only on Dr. The United CEO had previously referred to Dao as a " disruptive and belligerent passenger " in an internal company communication.