Classic Empire Paddock

Durango Jess Gives Classic Empire Newest Winner

Tom Durant-bred Durango Jess (3c Classic Empire x Durango, by First Samurai) became his sire’s newest winner Thursday with a neck victory in a Maiden Special Weight at Sam Houston.

Racing over six furlongs on the dirt, the tightly packed field saw the eventual winner in sixth, but running less than two lengths behind the pace setter. Jockey Lane Luzzi swung him five wide around the turn and the colt extended his stride to make up the ground between him and victory.

The lead didn’t become his until near the wire but the colt did exactly what he needed to in order to secure the win.

Trained by Bret Calhoun, Durango Jess is out of Durant’s multiple stakes-placed Durango. Purchased by her owner for $475,000 as a 2-year-old, Durango won three races herself before foaling this winner. She is out of a multiple stakes winner in Superduper Miss, who is also the granddam of Grade II-placed Magic Spell.

Classic Empire’s first crop of 22 winners includes five stables performers and two stakes winners with two others finishing fourth in stakes as well. The Champion 2-Year-Old stands for $17,500 in 2022.