Classic Empire Back On Track For Haskell; Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing Look At Jim Dandy

by | 06.16.2017 | 6:03pm
Mark and Norm Casse with Classic Empire at Pimlico prior to the Preakness

Though a hoof abscess denied juvenile champion Classic Empire a start in the final jewel of the Triple Crown, in which he would have likely been the favorite, the colt has been healing well and returned to jogging on the racetrack. According to, the 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile, winner of this year's Arkansas Derby and a close second-place finisher in the Preakness, jogged one mile around the Churchill Downs oval on Friday morning. Trainer Mark Casse is pointing Classic Empire at the G1 Haskell on July 30 at Monmouth Park, a “Win and You're In” contest for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

“He jogged and did it well,” Casse said. “He's got some new shoes on. Everything is a go for the Haskell.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing are likely to head in the opposite direction, targeting the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes on July 29 en route to the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 26.

“I thought he was pretty tired after the Preakness, and it's taken him a little while to come back to himself,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of Always Dreaming. “He's coming that way. We'll most likely gallop him for another week and then start getting him into a breeze program.”

Pletcher may also be considering the Jim Dandy for Belmont winner Tapwrit, and trainer Chad Brown has mentioned the Jim Dandy for Cloud Computing.

In other Triple Crown news, Conquest Mo Money was diagnosed with a “minor” sesamoid fracture and suspensory ligament injury after a work at Fair Hill Training Center before the G2 Woody Stephens on the Belmont undercard. The Arkansas Derby runner-up ran seventh in the Preakness, but has since had surgery to insert a screw in the sesamoid. He will be returning to owner Tom McKenna's New Mexico farm for recovery, which is expected to take approximately eight months.

  • Richard C

    – Hot Fun in the Summertime –

    • PeteM

      Does anyone know what happened to Malagacy?

  • Michael Castellano

    “I thought he was pretty tired after the Preakness, and it’s taken him a little while to come back to himself,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of Always Dreaming. “He’s coming that way. We’ll most likely gallop him for another week and then start getting him into a breeze program.”

    I don’t mean to just single out Pletcher, but while I was never around horses, I was once around runners who trained for races. They ran every day, and raced frequently and sometimes for fun. We always talk about the grueling TC campaigns, but why do they seem to take so much out of so many horses? Aren’t horses given by evolution itself the ability to run like the wind, and run often. What has happened to where we now have to treat race horses like major league pitchers. Yes, I think there’s a surprising like between the two and injuries. It’s speed. Horses are breeding bred solely for speed, and speed is emphasized in the majors too, above endurance. Drugs may be the other factor.

    • Lily FaPootz

      Lasix, yes …. and horses in the wild seldom have to run a mile and a quarter to evade predators, so it is not natural, especially with a hairless hominoid on its back. Factor in some really idiotic inbreeding and you have the cocktail of today’s TB…

      • Michael Castellano

        Neither I nor you know just how much wild horses had to run, nor how fast, to escape predators over the millions of years they took to evolve. The thoroughbred results from a selected form of inbreeding over hundreds of years. But one major change in modern times is the dramatic increases in barn confinement time. That must also have an effect on soundness and healthy and full development.

        • Judy Gaddis

          In response to the increased barn and confinement time, it is beginning to show that horses training at Fair Hill (which is more of a “farm like” atmosphere where they are NOT confined 21 or so hours out of every 24) do much better, not only training wise, but also in recovery from injuries. The equine species (athlete or pleasure horse) was never meant to stand in a 12 x 12 “box” the majority of each day. Very intelligent post, Michael!

        • There is a band in Wyoming that has been GPS tracked to travel between two places daily about 10 miles twice a day at what could be called a good jog speed. When they count them (helicopter @ 1000 ft) the herd clips along at what would be a good breze speed for 3 miles or so (they quit following them at that distance) there are a couple bands in the Utah desert that travel even further across the desert every few days. Both are in very rough terrain.
          Smaller horses, bult different
          so the comparison to today’s performance horses is not particularly valid

          • Michael Castellano

            But it does tend to show that running often and daily is a normal part of a horse’s existence, and not confinement.

          • Exactly
            I come from a time when you took them out for a few trips around the track no pressue just be a horse while stals where cleaned not just hang them on a walker even trail rides were not out of consideration if in that sort of area (Delmar and the beach)
            they where better fit in body and mind. I just didn’t see all the vices you do now.

          • Michael Castellano

            The thoroughbreds of today remind me of all these flash in the pan baseball pitchers, all speed and no endurance or soundness.

          • And they somehow manage to keep them patched together for a few runs then off to the shed.
            two many 2yo’s with blistering times in the sales never to be seen again. Durability quit being a consideration 20 years ago and it’s certainly shows

            That’s my rambling on for the day

          • Michael Shea

            I think some of the breeding operations have adopted that same thinking. Keeping a horse active though his racing career has ended has always made sense to me. A horse is born to run and ages prematurely when restrained from it.

          • Elle D

            As it happens, last weekend my daughter texted me pix of the Utah band from just North of Salt Lake City. Lots of babies with them.

          • That would be north west on the other side of the lake where some of the mustangs are.
            The major heard are south and part of the Nevada bands

            there is a large bunch of horses just east of the interstate south of Brigham city. These are not mustangs, they are owned by people that pasture there (lease) . A mix of about everything
            those are probably what she saw. At times there are upwards of 100 there is close to 150 acers in those three pieces

          • Elle D

            If I got it right, I think it was somewhere near the “spiral” feature (Do you know what that is?) and on the other side of the lake. I’m not familiar with that particular area.

          • What interstate was she on?
            There is a spiral slide water park in Brigham city it would be 30 miles or so north of Salt Lake city. I don’t know of any wilde bands in the Salt Lake valley until you get North and west of the lake tonapaw and south of jackpot Nevada skull valley area south of Salt Lake there is a smaller band that hangs out on the old dugway proving grounds.
            Many pastures north of Salt Lake tremonton and that

          • Elle D

            You’ve got me there. Don’t recall. Would have to ask.

          • One way to tell.
            If she got close enough there would be several odd looking symbols freeze branded on there neck just below the mane (BLM symboligy that denotes where they came from year ECT these markings are also used to track migration health deases and such )

            98 percent are marked this way to stop people from taking them and ending up in Mexico or something

        • McGov

          I think there are a combination of factors but perhaps the biggest is confinement. The majority are confined for 23 hours a day at racetracks on top of a fast food restaurant approach to training and care taking……how does an athlete give his very best and squeeze every ounce of themselves under such conditions and anyone expect to recharge quickly……
          Throw in such items as HOW we determine top pedigrees to breed future generations….
          Many factors that are contributing spokes on this wheel. I’d start with infrastructure options that are economically feasible in this soil testing ;)

      • Nell Ray

        My God how have we made it in Britain for the past three hundred twenty years running thoroughbreds. Please stop using excuses.

        • Lehane

          The reason horseracing has ‘made it’ is because racing goes through so many horses, especially so in modern times. The thoroughbred racehorse has a short life span compared to non-racehorses. As we know, the racehorse usually begins racing at 2 and races for a few to several years and most racehorses’ careers end at age 5-6. In 2016, at a lecture by Dr Chris Whitton, Head of the University of Melbourne Equine Centre, Associate Professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery, mentioned this –

          “Most of the injuries we see in racehorses are peculiar to racehorses” and in his conclusion he mentioned “A large proportion of our limb injuries are due to bone fatigue. Bone fatigue should be preventable. So we can’t say it’s predictable and I think that every time there’s an injury that’s a failure, it’s the industry’s failure in not investing in the horses enough. It’s everybody’s failure. We haven’t done enough.”

        • Up the track Jack

          Good Luck in twenty years with all those in bred Galileo offspring!

          • Nell Ray

            They said the same thing about northern dancer.

      • Lehane

        Agree with you 100%.
        In my experience with 15 ex-racehorses living on a huge property in a natural environment, they are not confined, the herd never ever gallop a mile. Most of their time is spent grazing, playing tag, occasionally a dip in one of the dams. And on the rare occasions when they do go for a gallop it’s usually when there’s a threat of danger e.g. a storm, a gunshot from a neighbouring property, a flock of birds suddenly fly out of trees. And they never run so close that there’s a chance of them clipping heels which is a common occurrence in racing, often resulting in injury and worse.

  • up the track Jack

    They will both run well off the lay off, but I will be against both coming back in the Travers in four weeks and not having the precious fifth week

  • Stephanie Childress Mihalovits

    When did the Jim Dandy get moved to Belmont? Did I miss something or is that an error?

    • Bryan Langlois

      It’s an error. Jim Dandy still at the Spa.

  • NMBird

    OH, so sorry to hear that Conquest Mo Money has had to have surgery with a pin inserted!! 8 months to recover…and then? I guess his racing days are over?

    But am very happy that Classic Empire seems to be healing up well from that abscess!!

    • Jbumi

      If CMM fully recovers (which I’m hoping for), I think they’ll race him at 4 – he hasn’t won a graded stakes, so I believe he’ll return to the track.

      I’m so glad Classic Empire’s doing well! The proof of how well he’s doing is obvious in this article – he’s aiming for the Haskell; all 3 Triple Crown winners are aiming for the Jim Dandy!!!!!

  • topkat

    Could we see Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing, Classic Empire, Tapwrit among others in the Travers this year?? Songbird, Vale Dori, Abel Tasman on the same day in the Personal Ensign, ?????

    • Michael Shea

      I’m not usually a Travers fan, but this year’s could be a good one.

  • ctgreyhound

    Classic Empire’s absence in the Belmont was a blessing in disguise. Hopefully he will be fit, rested & ready to roll in the Haskell. Cream rises to the top & hopefully so will Classic Empire.

    • Elle D

      Hopefully. After AD’s owners received their Derby trophy in the winners circle last night (a tradition on S. Forster night at Churchill) I had a nice chat with the Brooklyn boys. They were so jubilant, I didn’t want to press them too much about AD. It was a night to celebrate his Derby win, and whatever else he does going forward, that is always his.

  • Michael Shea

    The American horseman who goes against the norm and breeds for stamina will do very well in the future. I think there is a bloodline waiting to be developed which will dominate the classic distances in North American racing. Perhaps Empire Maker, Pioneerof the Nile and American Pharoah will have something to do with it.

  • Gotchagold

    Come on Chad, bring Cloud Computing down to the shore! Love to see this beautiful boy.

  • lastromntribune

    Belmont’s G2 Jim Dandy Stakes on July 29 ……since when was the Jim Dandy moved to Belmont ?

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