First Empire Gives Classic Empire Soaring Free Stakes Victory
Trained by Classic Empire’s Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, First Empire (2c Classic Empire x Silsita, by Macho Uno) became his sire’s first stakes winner on Saturday in the Listed Soaring Free Stakes.
Sprinting over 6 ½ furlongs on the Woodbine turf, First Empire broke with the rest of the field and immediately headed up to challenge the leader. First Empire stuck his neck in front a little over a furlong into the race and had a half length on his rival around the turn.
As they turned into the stretch, First Empire was the only one not being asked for his full run and he was never ridden as seriously as the others. Jockey Patrick Husbands just gave his mount a few taps during the stretch run to keep him occupied as First Empire powered to an easy 1 ¾ length victory with the third placed horse nine lengths behind the winner.
It was the second straight victory for the Ontario-bred, who was purchased by Harlequin Ranches from Cara Bloodstock’s consignment last October.
The Saintsbury Farms-bred is out of Grade III winner Silsita, who has produced two winners from three to race. Silsita’s dam is another stakes performer with four stakes placings to her name. First Empire is the fourth generation of his family to win or place in a stakes race with third dam Nat’s Lea a three-time stakes winner as well.
Silsita produced an Uncle Mo colt on February 8.
Classic Empire’s seven winners also include Grade II Adirondack Stakes second Interstatedaydream and Listed Victoria Stakes second Twenty Four Mamba, who was fourth in the Soaring Free.