Classic Empire in Breeders' Futurity Score
By Frank Angst, courtesy of Blood-Horse
John Oxley's Classic Empire was on his best behavior Oct. 8 at Keeneland, and the additional work his connections have done paid off with a victory in the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I).
The 2-year-old Pioneerof the Nile colt trained by Mark Casse infamously wheeled and dropped his rider at the start of the Sept. 5 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, but this time he ran straight and true to victory in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Futurity.
The final time was 1:43.41 on a fast track. Classic Empire paid $5.20, $4.20, and $3.60 under jockey Julien Leparoux. Lookin At Lee and Wild Shot completed the trifecta.
Classic Empire earned guaranteed entry into the Breeders' Cup Sentient Jet Juvenile at Santa Anita on November 5, 2016, through the Breeders' Cup Challenge program. The Claiborne Breeders' Futurity is a Win and You're In race.
Watch the 2016 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity replay: