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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

State of Honor Breezes; Classic Empire Back on Track


Girvin Shipped to Keeneland

To beat Saturday's forecast for heavy rain, Mark Casse’s barn breezed 16 horses Friday at Churchill Downs, including Florida Derby runner-up State of Honor.

He worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 under Julie Leparoux. Splits were 13.00, 26.00 and :37.40 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven in 1:27.80.

In the Kentucky Derby, Leparoux will ride the Casse-trained Classic Empire, and Jose Lezcano will be aboard State of Honor.

“State of Honor breezed very well,” assistant trainer Norm Casse said. “I’m very happy with how he looked on the track, and he’s developing well for the Derby.”

Classic Empire returned to the track Friday for the first time since winning the Arkansas Derby last Saturday.

“We brought Martin Rivera in from Florida to be Classic Empire’s main exercise rider,” Casse said. “Martin works with a lot of our younger horses on the farm and got along well with Classic Empire when we sent him to Winding Oaks this winter.”

The Casse contingent is stabled in Barn 36 at Churchill Downs.


Louisiana Derby winner Girvin was vanned to Keeneland today and is expected to train on the synthetic training track. A planned workout on Saturday was reset to as far off as Monday, according to trainer Joe Sharp. No word yet on where that will take place.

Other Planned Workouts

Blue Grass third-place finisher McCraken is scheduled to breeze Monday at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Ian Wilkes.

Blue Grass fourth-place finisher J Boys Echo is targeted to breeze on Sunday at Churchill Downs for trainer Dale Romans.

Spiral winner Fast and Accurate is scheduled to breeze at 6:00 Saturday morning at Trackside Louisville, according to trainer Mike Maker.

New Arrivals

Todd Pletcher stable: Battalion Runner is booked for a van ride from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs on Monday. Tapwrit and Malagacy will van to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Monday. Always Dreaming andPatch will be flown from Palm Beach Downs to Kentucky on Tuesday.

Gunnevera is scheduled van to Churchill Downs from Miami on Saturday and will be stabled in Barn 41.

Edited Churchill Downs release with additional content by Dick Downey


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