2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes Recap

Brave Emperor lived up to his name with a hard-fought triumph in the Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions Stakes on the Kempton Park all-weather track March 15.

Starting the 3-1 second favorite after winning three of his four previous starts on all-weather tracks, Brave Emperor jumped well and settled outside the leader Killybegs Warrior on what was a fairly slow early pace.

Brave Emperor took the lead two furlongs out as the race developed into a sprint home. With a furlong to go it looked like Brave Emperor would succumb to the rallies of Alzahir and Tenjin, but he found some reserves under the urgings of Luke Morris and scraped home by a head.

Brave Emperor was not a Triple Crown nominee heading into this race, but his owners Middleham Park Racing later paid $6,000 for a late entry, meaning he was able to subsequently take the 20 points he earned on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby table.

The other potential points earners — Alzahir (second, eight points), Tenjin (third, six points), Killybegs Warrior (fourth, four points), and Coco Jack (fifth, two points) were not Triple Crown nominated.

Brave Emperor is a son of Sioux Nation, a U.S.-bred son of Scat Daddy who won at Group 1 level on the Irish turf as a juvenile.

By Alastair Bull

Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes Preview

Reilly: European Road to the Kentucky Derby continues at Kempton