NEW YORK (AP) — Classic Empire is out of the Belmont Stakes because of an abscess in his right front foot.
Trainer Mark Casse says the abscess found Wednesday is a recurrence of the same problem that bothered the colt after his loss in the Holy Bull in February.
Classic Empire was expected to be the favorite for Saturday’s 1½-mile finale of the Triple Crown series. He was coming off a runner-up finish in the Preakness on May 20.
Casse says Classic Empire will be pointed toward the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth this summer.
The Belmont draw is later Wednesday.
Classic Empire’s absence leaves Lookin At Lee as the only horse that will have run in all three legs of the Triple Crown.