Classic Empire tops Experimental Free Handicap
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Pioneerof the Nile's 2-year-old Champion Male of 2016 Classic Empire was assigned the top weight on The Jockey Club Experimental Free Handicap, which was released Thursday morning.

The Jockey Club Experimental Free Handicap, published each year since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year's leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles. The list of horses eligible for weighting included any 2-year-old that started in a graded or listed stakes in the United States and Canada in 2016. 

Classic Empire was assigned a weight of 126, one pound above the now-retired Not This Time, who he defeated in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). Classic Empire's weight is the same as was assigned to Pioneerof the Nile's first 2-year-old Champion and ultimate Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Classic Empire will begin his quest for the Triple Crown in Saturday's $350,000 Holy Bull S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
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