John Oxley’s Classic Empire ($11) disposed of Syndergaard at the head of the stretch and then held off a bid from favored Not This Time by a neck to win the 33rd running of the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) for 2-year-olds on Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park.
Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Classic Empire covered the mile and a sixteenth on a fast track in 1:42.60. A Kentucky-bred son of Pioneerof the Nile, Classic Empire has won four of five starts with the lone blemish coming in the Hopeful when he wheeled at the start of the race and lost his rider.
The victory was the second World Championships triumph for Oxley, whose Beautiful Pleasure won the 1999 Distaff at Gulfstream Park. It was the third Breeders’ Cup win for Casse and seventh for Leparoux and first in the Juvenile for both.