Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Woodbine Trainer Casse to Saddle Five Horses at Breeders' Cup Event

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Woodbine Trainer Casse to Saddle Five Horses at Breeders' Cup Event

Article excerpt

Casse to saddle five horses at Breeders' Cup


He has been named Canadian thoroughbred racing's top conditioner four times and is closing in on a sixth trainer's title at Woodbine Racetrack but the Breeders' Cup winner's circle has always managed to elude Mark Casse.

This weekend, Casse will saddle five horses in the 2012 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in search of that elusive first win on thoroughbred racing's grandest stage.

Casse has had 10 horses race in the Breeders' Cup, his best finish being second in '08 with Sealy Hill, a 48-1 longshot with Patrick Husbands of Brampton, Ont., aboard. Husbands had Sealy Hill in the lead in deep stretch but couldn't hold off Forever Together in the Filly and Mare Turf event.

On Friday, Casse will send undefeated Spring Venture, the winner of the Grade 2 Natalma Stakes, from the No. 5 post in the Juvenile Fillies Turf race. His other horses include Spring in the Air (post 6, Juvenile Fillies), Delegation (post 2, Dirt Mile), Dynamic Sky (post 6, Juvenile) and Pool Play (post 1, Classic).

The most prolific Canadian at Santa Anita will be J. Paul Reddam, of Windsor, Ont. The owner of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another has six horses entered: Boxeur Des Rues (post 14, Sprint); Cogito (post 6, Turf); Handsome Mike (post 7, Classic); He's Had Enough (post 3, Juvenile); Know More (post 3, Juvenile Turf); and Second City (post 9, Dirt Mile).

A total of 19 horses with Canadian connections will participate in this year's Breeders' Cup.

Casse, Woodbine's leading trainer with 85 wins through Sunday, has taken a new approach with Spring Venture in workouts leading up to the Breeders' Cup.

"A week out or so, I like to give them a bit of a confidence work where they break off a length or so behind, and end up a head or so in front of the other horse at the wire, and that worked out perfect," said Casse. "They worked the fastest (of Casse's five contenders) but that's because when you say, 'Go', with her, her cruising speed is very fast.

"She's not easy to settle down. She went a little quicker early than some of the other horses, but all five of them worked perfectly. …

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