Champion Classic Empire has returned to Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala to continue to prepare for what is hoped to be a start in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 23.
The Daily Racing Form reports that trainer Mark Casse made the decision to ship the son of Pioneerof The Nile back to Ocala on Monday, after the colt “pulled himself up about a sixteenth of a mile into a scheduled workout” over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga. According to the Form, Classic Empire was on a van heading back to Winding Oaks by Monday afternoon.
Casse is hoping that the ‘change in scenery’ will have a positive effect on the colt, who trained at the farm prior to winning the G1 Arkansas Derby.
“I just figure I got to get him going quick,” Casse told the DRF on Wednesday. “We went back to basics – where we got the Arkansas Derby.”
“He trained good this morning, but his back was sore,” Casse said. “We’re taking him back to where we’ve been successful with him, plus we can monitor his back there a little easier.”
Casse hopes that Classic Empire can get a workout in before the end of this weekend in order to try and make the Pennsylvania Derby.
“We need everything to go right from this point, there’s no question,” Casse said. “I haven’t given up.”
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