Classic Empire, Japan’s Epicharis Head Probables For Third Leg Of Triple Crown

by | 05.22.2017 | 5:46pm
Mark and Norm Casse with Classic Empire at Pimlico prior to the Preakness

With three weeks to go until the third leg of the Triple Crown, it appears that neither the Kentucky Derby nor the Preakness winner will be making an appearance in the Belmont Stakes for the first time since I'll Have Another's untimely retirement in 2012. According to the Daily Racing Form, neither colt has officially been ruled out, but the standard procedures followed by both trainers, Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown, is to give their horses five or six weeks of rest between starts.

Perhaps the unluckiest colt in the Triple Crown this year, Classic Empire is expected to start in the Belmont Stakes, reports trainer Mark Casse. The son of Pioneerof the Nile finished fourth after a disastrous start in the Kentucky Derby, then was just beaten a head on the wire by Cloud Computing in the Preakness after pushing the Derby winner through rapid early fractions. Another exciting contender expected to run in the Belmont is the Japanese-trained UAE Derby runner-up Epicharis, who will bring with him a significant number of wagering dollars from his home country.

An additional 11 colts are currently under consideration for the Belmont, as of Monday afternoon. They include Senior Investment (3rd Preakness), Lookin at Lee (4th Preakness), Multiplier (6th Preakness), Conquest Mo Money (7th Preakness), Tapwrit (6th Ky Derby), Gormley (9th Ky Derby), Patch (14th Ky Derby), J Boys Echo (15th Ky Derby), Irap (18th Ky Derby), Twisted Tom (1st Tesio Stakes), and Meantime (2nd Peter Pan Stakes).


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