Classic Empire to miss Belmont with foot abscess

Another reason to consider Hollywood Handsome is due to his trainer, Dallas Steward, having had a number of horses run well at high odds in Triple Crown races over the past few years: Commanding Curve, Golden Soul and Tale of Verve. Meantime also benefits from the services of North American leading rider Mike Smith in the saddle for the first time and so I expect him to run a lot better than his 15-to-1 starting odds suggest.

The Belmont Stakes is the longest of the three Triple Crown races at 1½ miles.

The colt claimed that status after expected favorite Classic Empire was forced out Wednesday because of an abscess in his right front hoof. The Belmont will be the Japanese colt's first race in the United States. Twisted Tom will try to become the third gelding in history to win the Belmont Stakes and is +2000 from Post 1. After drawing far-outside Post 20 for the Kentucky Derby, Patch drew far-outside Post 12 for the Belmont. The last time different horses won the Derby and Preakness and neither ran in the Belmont was 2010.

The colt finished a disappointing 10th in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness.

Lookin At Lee (+500) is the only horse entered in the Belmont to run in the Derby and Preakness, and he will start from Post 6. "He can do what I want him to do".

Lookin At Leecould not duplicate his fast finish for second in the Derby (with a career-best 101 E) when fourth in the Preakness, but on the other he hand was just three-quarters of a length behind Senior Investment. Winless in eight attempts since capturing last summer's Ellis Park Juvenile S., he was met on the track near the clubhouse turn by Steve Asmussen assistant trainer Toby Sheets aboard a stable pony. Epicharis is the grandson of Sunday Silence, who won the 1989 Derby and Preakness and finished second in the Belmont. Irish War Cry has the positional speed to work out another sweet stalking trip just off a pace that should be honest, and I feel he deserves the chance to make amends.

NEW YORK (AP) - Classic Empire is out of the Belmont Stakes because of an abscess in his right front foot. Tapwrit was sixth in the Derby.

Casse announced the 2016 2-year-old champion's withdrawal four hours before Irish War Cry drew post 7 in a field of 12 and was made the 7-2 favorite. I have a hard time believing Irish War Cry is really as bad as he showed in the Derby, especially since his romps in the Wood Memorial and Holy Bull (in which he beat an admittedly below-par Classic Empire but did so by nearly nine lengths) were among the best performances by any 3-year-old this year.

  • Julie Sanders