‘This Game Ain’t Easy’: Classic Empire’s Training Session Ends Abruptly; Colt Shows Discomfort In Back

by | 03.03.2017 | 10:06am
Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile) wins the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. Julien Leparoux up, Mark Casse trainer, John Oxley owner.

Champion Classic Empire incurred yet another bump on the road to the Kentucky Derby Friday morning when his training session abruptly ended after the colt refused to work.

The Daily Racing Form reports that the Mark Casse trainee was scheduled to have his first workout since his start in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes last month. Classic Empire was discovered to have an abscess in his right front hoof after that race.

According to the Form, jockey Julien Leparoux was aboard Classic Empire Friday morning at Palm Meadows. After galloping down the backstretch, Classic Empire refused to break off and go into his workout. Leparoux took the colt off the track and returned to Casse's barn.

After he returned to the stable area, Classic Empire began showing signs of discomfort in his back. Casse said he would have a chiropractor examine the colt. He also planned to turn him out in a round pen, in the hopes that he could “work out his discomfort on his own.”

Casse still hopes to have Classic Empire ready for the G2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes April 8.

“One thing about it, this game ain't easy,” Casse said. “The good news is we've still got time.”

Read more in the Daily Racing Form

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