NY State of Mind: WPT Duo Entered in 300k Empire Classic
West Point Thoroughbreds has been a big supporter of the NY-bred program over the years, and with good reason. We’ve campaigned four statebred stakes winners since 2009: Mr. Fantasy, Rereadthefootnotes, Empire Dreams, and Awesome Vision. Two of those runners are facing off in the $300,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park this Saturday.
3-year-old Empire Dreams is a Derby winner, not a Kentucky Derby winner, but a New York Derby winner. The aptly named son of Patriot Act was purchased by Terry Finley and the WPT buying team at the 2013 OBS April 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale before breaking his maiden in September of his 2-year-old year and capturing the New York Stallion Series Great White Way Division in November at Aqueduct. After hitting the board in his first three starts this year, he ventured into wine country to capture the NY Derby under Manny Franco, who has the call on Saturday.
Empire Dreams looks to rebound from a poor performance as the second choice in the Albany Stakes at Saratoga this summer. In uncharacteristic fashion, he trailed the field and never picked up his feet. After the race we discovered he strained a muscle in his hind end and had a legitimate excuse for the flat performance. Trainer Tom Albertrani reports the colt is on his toes and ready for his first try against older stakes company.
Empire Dreams winning the 2013 New York Stallion Series Great White Way Division:
The tough 5-year-old campaigner Awesome Vision aka “The Vishj” is winless this year, but a barn favorite nonetheless. He’s earned over $390,000 for his Partners and been a familiar face on the NY-bred circuit over the last three years. A three-time stakes winner, the son of Awesome Again is also looking to rebound in the Empire Classic following a fifth place finish in the 1 5/8 mile Temperence Hill Stakes earlier in the month. We’d thought throughout his career he always wanted to run all day, but he never really got rolling at the marathon distance. When he came out of the race in good shape Tom Albertrani and Terry Finley made the decision to wheel back and cutback in the Empire Classic.
Awesome Vision winning the 2013 Saratoga Sunrise Stakes:
Earlier on Saturday’s card, WPT’s NY-bred 2-year-old Touch of Paradise is entered main track only. Keep an eye out for him if the 6th race comes off the turf as he’s on the improve and should relish the added distance.
Post time for race eight, the Empire Classic, is 4:08 ET. The first half of the entry, Empire Dreams wears number 1 while breaking from post seven under Manny Franco. Awesome Vision wears the 1A while breaking from post nine under Junior Alvarado.
Click here to read our blog titled: Three Reasons to Own a New York Bred Racehorse With a Racing Partnership in 2015.