Trainer Mark Casse reported on Wednesday that the 2-1 favorite Classic Empire will not run in this year’s Belmont Stakes because of an abscess in his right front hoof. The thoroughbred who took fourth at the Kentucky Derby and second at Preakness Stakes has been suffering from the abscess since the Holy Bull Stakes.
Classic Empire was favored after Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing withdrew from the Belmont Stakes. With all three favorites dropped, it leaves the field open to new possibilities. Eyes are now on Lookin at Lee and Epicharis who both are favored at 5-1.