November 30, 2023

Classic Empire to stand at Coolmore

The Breeders' Futurity was one of two Grade 1 scores for Classic Empire in 2016 (Keeneland/Coady Photograpy)

Juvenile champion and Preakness (G1) runner-up Classic Empire will stand at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky upon retirement, the Thoroughbred Daily News reported Tuesday.

In a deal brokered by bloodstock agent Justin Casse, the brother of trainer Mark Casse, Classic Empire will continue to race for John Oxley.

“They have a track record that is unprecedented,” Justin Casse told TDN. “They reached out to me towards the end of last year, and obviously, I was a medium between them and Mr. Oxley. The fact that their development of stallions who were champion two-year-olds or Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winners was a key point to Mr. Oxley.”

Ashford currently stands Uncle Mo, Shanghai Bobby, and American Pharoah, the juvenile champions of 2010, 2012, and 2014, respectively.

Classic Empire won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Breeders’ Futurity (G1), and Bashford Manor (G3) last season. This year, Classic Empire has won the Arkansas Derby (G1), placed third in the Holy Bull (G2) and fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) after a rough trip.

Following his head loss in the Preakness last Saturday, he’s expected to run next in the June 10 Belmont S. (G1).