The Empire Classic
BEL Race #13 1 1/8m Dirt Stake
Purse $300.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward Foaled In NY.
1 Zombie Tomb Raider, trained by Night Rider Stables
He came from relative obscurity to take the Tokyo City Cup and was hailed by his trainer as being a BC Classic possibility. However after a decent run for fourth in the Brooklyn he then ran poorly in the Suburban Handicap and has since been beaten in overnight company. Was that easy win in the Tokyo City Cup just a flash in the pan? Well his work times are still pretty strong and i wouldnt be writing him off in this company from the one box.
2 First Rebellion, trained by Hambletonian Stable
Bought at auction for $100.000 from Mb Stables he looked a pretty good buy having taken two graded handicaps in a row. A winner of 6 from 9 as a three year old he has had a good four year old season so far with three stakes wins and a SA Handicap fourth. If his new trainer has him settled in well he may be too strong for this field.
3 Whatever Man, trained by John Henry
An eight race winner but he has drew a blank this year although with four narrow seconds in a row it wouldnt have taken much for him to have won three in a row. The best of his efforts this year was in the Salvator Mile where he failed by just a head after leading into the final furlong to beat Make A Fortune. Whilst that was a decent effort he hasnt really go on from that and whilst he deserves to go close i am not sure he can win.
4 Cut The General, trained by Mb Stables
This one was subject to Horse Selling Park this year being bought and sold four times with only one start but as tends to happen once Mb Stables got hold of him everything changed. A winner now of three in a row his last start saw him an unchallenged all the way winner of The Temperence Hill which was pretty impressive. With lightening works and the three year old allowance i am afraid he may provide Mb Stables with yet another winner.
5 Que Cosa, trained by D J C Racing Stables
he has been a bit unlucky not to break through this year after missing out on the TC but has shown in his last two starts that he isnt far off a big win and that could come today. I particularly liked his huge run for third in the PA Derby last time where he had to cope with the wide gate and traffic and yet still got very close to BC Classic hope Clash Study. I am liking him especially if his odds are a bit longer and he looks a good each way bet.
6 Playmaker, trained by RNP Stables
A nice enough sort who has run some fair races but he ay be out of his depth here.
7 Its My Party, trained by Fractious
As we get wider and wider so we see some horses that may struggle. This isnt a bad sort having impressively won the Saginaw and he didnt run badly in The Whitney next time but a poor run in the Seattle Slew raises enough question marks to leave him out today.
8 Long River, trained by Canadian Racing
The six year old gets the coffin draw and i am just a bit worried that he has gone off the boil recently. If he shows the type of form that saw him second in the Californian Stakes he could go well but he was beaten in a LAD allowance last time albeit after a lay off and he will find a couple fo these too good.
This is a pretty good race considering the BC is around the corner. I think the three’s may contest the win with Que Cosa and Cut The General but this is a pretty close race and there are many chances.