Empire Stakes 2010 Results
Belmont Park Track in New York has been the host of the Empire Classic Handicap, referred to as the Empire Stakes, since 1976. It was named the Empire Stakes on inauguration, but its name was changed to the Empire Classic in 1994. Each year the best horses from New York enter this prestigious race, and this year was no different. A spectacular group of horses entered the starting gates at Belmont Park, and hundreds of spectators watched in awe as each horse delivered their own breathtaking performance. Friend or Foe was to be the horse of the day, and the winner of the 2010 Empire Stakes.
Nine contenders entered the starting gates on Saturday, 23 October 2010, at Belmont Park, but as the gates swung open Alex Solis and Friend or Foe almost immediately took the lead and did not look back. Owned by Mary and Chester Broman, Friend or Foe is trained by John Kimmel and is a colt from Friends Lake and Unbridled Star. Not only did this magnificent three-year-old win his event, but he also managed to set a new stakes record. Solis, who was teamed up with Friend or Foe for the first time, could not praise Friend or Foe enough for his performance, saying: "All along I've felt he is one of those horses who can give you an easy :22, :45 and keep going as long as you keep him in a rhythm." Alex Solis also described his strategy for the race, "I just wanted to put him in the race right away, break as sharp as we could, put him in the bit, and let him do his own thing."
Icabad Crane did not have a very successful start to his race, slamming into the starting gates, but he managed to rally himself from last position into a satisfying second place finish for his owners. Third position went to Wishful Tomcat, with the other runners of the race being Ruffino, Manteca, Mine Over Matter, Giant Moon, Star of New York, Ibboyee and Stormy’s Majesty. There is still speculation over Friend or Foe’s next career start, but it does seem that the Cigar Mile Handicap, which is to be hosted on 27 November 2010 at the Aqueduct Racecourse, could be the target.