Description: Classic Empire (KY) B, C, foaled March 21, 2014 (Pioneerof the Nile - Sambuca Classica, by Cat Thief) secures his berth in the 143rd Kentucky Derby with a spectacular victory in the 9 furlong $1 million Grade I Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park April 15, 2017. Jockey Julien Leparoux and Classic Empire raced in a crowd about 4 lengths behind the pace set by Grandpa's Dream and Conquest Mo Money. Classic Empire found clear running as they rounded the far turn, angled to the outside for the drive and ran down Conquest Mo Money to win by a 1/2 length at the line. Conquest Mo Money did away with Grandpa's Dream around the far turn and then had to contend with Malagacy as they raced down the stretch. Malagacy was hung wide around the Clubhouse turn and was 'victimized' somewhat down the lane and tired late to finish fifth. Conquest Mo Money finished a length in front of Lookin At Lee who closed well down the stretch. It was 3/4 lengths back to Sonneteer in fourth. The first four finishers earned Kentucky Derby Points (100-40-20-10) towards a start in the Kentucky Derby May 6th at Churchill Downs. Classic Empire is 5-0-1 from 7 starts and he has earned $2,120,220. He was bred by Steven & Brandi Nicholson, owned by John Oxley and he is being trained by Mark Casse. Drawing by Daily Racing Funnies ®.
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