Angel of Empire, Hit Show Breeze at Churchill Downs for Belmont

May 27, 2023

Angel of Empire at Churchill Downs two days from Kentucky Derby 149 (Coady Photography)

NYRA Press Office

ELMONT, N.Y.— Trainer Brad Cox will go two deep in pursuit of his second conquest in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets with Kentucky Derby alumnus Angel of Empire [third] and Hit Show [fifth]. Both horses breezed Saturday at Churchill Downs, visiting the track at 5:30 a.m. Eastern.

Albaugh Family Stables’ Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Angel of Empire went in company with graded stakes winner Warrant and logged five-eighths in 59.80 seconds over the fast main track.

Gary and Mary West’s Hit Show, second in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino, completed his five-furlong move in 1:00.20 in company with two-time winning sophomore Salute the Stars.

“Angel of Empire and Hit Show worked really well this morning,” said Cox, who saddled 2021 Belmont winner Essential Quality. “Both horses have exited the Derby in good shape and have been able to get back to regular training. Angel of Empire worked with Warrant. He started a couple lengths back and finished up well around the turn. Hit Show is a more aggressive type of horse and gets a lot out of his training. He worked with Salute the Stars who’s a good work horse as well. They had a very solid move.”

Both Angel of Empire and Hit Show will record their final breeze at Churchill Downs next Saturday before shipping to Belmont early the following week.

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