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Injured Classic Empire Misses Belmont Stakes

A foot abscess has ruled last season’s champion colt Classic Empire out of the Belmont Stakes, third leg of the US Triple Crown, in New York on Saturday.

Trainer Mark Casse found Classic Empire to be suffering from an abscess in his front right foot on Wednesday.
“He was fine coming off the plane yesterday, but he could hardly walk this morning,” Casse said.
Casse said it was a recurrence of an abscess he suffered after the Holy Bull Stakes early this year.
“That is the thing about him. He is just so tough that he doesn’t show you until it’s bad,” Casse said.
Casse said Classic Empire will remain in New York until the foot improves but is hopeful he will be right to start in next month’s GI Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
“It just bad timing. Now we just have to go out and win the Haskell,” Casse said.
A field of 12 was declared for the Belmont Stakes with Holy Bull Stakes and Wood Memorial winner War Cry taking over favouritism form the absent Classic Empire.
War Cry has not raced since a fading 10th in the GI Kentucky Derby on May 6.
The Japanese raider Epicharis is the second favourite after drawing gate 11.
Epicharis is four from four in Japan and was beaten a nose by Thunder Snow in in the G2 UAE Derby at Meydan in March.
Lookin At Lee is the third favourite and bri8ngs the best triupolke Criown form to the Belmont, having finished second in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness Stakes.
Others in the market are Tapwrit and Gormley.
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