Midnight Storm, Classic Empire give Pioneerof the Nile powerful Breeders' Cup tandem
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Pioneerof the Nile has a pair of division leaders set to contest the Nov. 4-5 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park, with Midnight Storm slated for the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) and Classic Empire in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1).

Pioneerof the Nile, with eight black type winners and five Graded Stakes winners this year, is the leading Fourth-Crop Sire of 2016. He has had one Breeders' Cup starter to date, the incomparable American Pharoah, who capped his 2015 Horse of the Year campaign with a dominating score in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

Midnight Storm, who is a multiple graded winner on the turf this year, was entered in both the Mile and Dirt Mile (G1), with preference actually given to the latter. Midnight Storm's win in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) on the Santa Anita turf assured the 5-year-old a spot in the turf should his connections choose that race, which runs on Nov. 5. The Dirt Mile, on Nov. 4, drew only 11 entries, meaning that all entered can run.

Classic Empire is also assured of a spot in the gate in the Nov. 5 Juvenile. The $2 million race at 1 1/16-miles drew 12 2-year-olds. Classic Empire, trained by Mark Casse for John Oxley, has won all three of the races he finished, including the Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 8. The colt's only blemish came when he unseated his rider at the start of the Hopeful S. (G1), where he was the 8-5 favorite off his victory in the Bashford Manor S. (G3). 

The questions about which race Midnight Storm will run in will be answered Oct. 31, when the official post positions for the Breeders' Cup will be drawn. 
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