Classic Empire Analysis For The 2017 Kentucky Derby Favorites

Posted by Henry Watkins on Wednesday,May 3, 2017 11:45, EST in

By the time Wednesday afternoon rolls around, we will know where each of the 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby field will be starting from. The betting odds for the race have already been revealed, but those may be subject to change depending on how the draw for post positions goes. An early favorite may well see its horse racing betting odds change dramatically if it is handed the #1 or #2 posts, which have traditionally been a nightmare in the Derby. That’s a conversation for later, though, as for now, all we want to do is look at a few of the horses that the bookies have names as being among the favorites. Let’s get things started with Classic Empire.

A Closer Look At The Classic Empire Analysis For The 2017 Kentucky Derby Favorites

 

 

Classic Empire Race History

When 2016 drew to a close, Classic Empire was considered to be the best juvenile in horse racing after winning his first 4 starts. Those wins included the Claiborne Breeders Futurity Stakes and the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile. It was the latter of those races that really put this horse on the map, leading many to believe that he could be a future Kentucky Derby winner.

His 3-year old year began with a 3rd place finish in the Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes, which he then followed up with a win at the Arkansas Derby. While his showing in the first ace of the year may seem disappointing, you need to keep in mind that he was found to have had an abscess in his foot, which must have hampered his performance. This horse has been in the money in every race that he has been in, and has already racked up over $2 million in career earnings. This race will be a little longer than what he is used to, but that is essentially the case for every horse in the Derby. Classic Empire knows how to win, and it’s no real surprise that he is the early favorite.

Racing Style

Classic Empire is a horse that does not like to be too far off the pace, which is why the post position could be an issue. He may prefer one of the outside posts, as this would give him a clear run to the pack, where he can then sit just off the pace. While there are questions about his ability to handle the distance, it’s worth noting that his sire, Pioneer of the Nile, also produced American Pharoah, and we all know what he was able to do.

The jockey getting the ride aboard Classic Empire will be Julien Leparoux, and it’s fair to say that his Kentucky Derby pedigree is a little disappointing. This is a jockey that is always among the best wherever he races, but success at the Derby has eluded him. He has been outside of the money in each of his 9 starts in the big race, with his fish being 5th, which he managed twice. This may represent his best chance at Kentucky Derby glory.