G2 Winner Angel Of Empire Tops Off Big Day for Classic Empire
It was a super Saturday for Classic Empire across the country this weekend when Angel Of Empire (3c Classic Empire x Armony’s Angel, by To Honor and Serve) gave him a graded stakes double in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes.
Coming just a few hours after Classy Edition won the Grade III Royal Delta Stakes, Angel Of Empire set his sights on earning 50 Road to the Kentucky Derby points in his second points race attempt. The colt hung back in the 1 1/8-mile dirt race over five lengths off the leader as one of the back markers of the main pack.
Racing on the rail down the backstretch, Angel Of Empire started weaving his way through the field around the turn. The colt was in the thick of things as a large group of horses made their bids for the front in the stretch and he was ready to pounce a short time later. In the final furlong, he was right there and secured the lead with a sixteenth left to go before winning by a length.
Trained by Brad Cox to his three wins in five starts, Angel Of Empire is owned by the Albaugh Family Stables and was bred in Pennsylvania by Forgotten Land Investment and Black Diamond Equine
“Physically, it looks like he can run all day,” said Cox, “We could see that last summer when we got him ready to run. We started him a mile at Indiana and it worked out. We had a little pace to run at today and it worked out well. It's five weeks to the Louisiana Derby and we'll look at that, all the Grade 1s will be in the conversation. We'll let the dust settle and see how he comes out of it. This is a horse that we thought as the months go by he'll get better and he has.”
Finishing second in the Smarty Jones last out, Angel Of Empire’s 54 Road to the Kentucky Derby points took him to the top of the leaderboard 14 points better than the Number 2 horse.
Angel Of Empire is the first runner out of a half-sister to Grade II winner Conquest Big E and stakes winner Aquapazza, who produced stakes placed Infringement. His dam Armony’s Angel foaled a Classic Empire colt named Raconteur last year.
Classic Empire is the only third crop stallion to have more than one graded stakes winner this year with his two stakes winners tying him at the top of the leaderboard with Gun Runner.