Empire Classic Handicap

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The Empire Classic Handicap is a Thoroughbred horse race restricted to New York breds run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Set at a distance of one and one eighth miles on the dirt, this ungraded stakes race is open to three-year-olds and up, and currently offers a purse of $300,000.

Inaugurated in 1976 as the Empire Stakes, the Empire Classic (renamed in 1994) ran as a six furlong event for two-year-olds from 1976 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1993. It was run at Belmont Park from 1989 to 1991, from 1993 to 1995, and from 1997 to the present. Saratoga Race Course hosted the event in 1992 and Aqueduct Racetrack in 1996. When it was renamed in 1994, it also changed its distance to nine furlongs.

The Empire Classic is named after New York state’s nickname, “The Empire State”.

Past winners[edit]

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