Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran Trainer Mark Casse Likes Danzig Moon's Preparation for Derby

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran Trainer Mark Casse Likes Danzig Moon's Preparation for Derby

Article excerpt

Casse likes Danzig Moon's Derby preparation

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Danzig Moon has impressed trainer Mark Casse in workouts leading up to Saturday's US$2-million Kentucky Derby. It seems the Canadian-bred has also caught the eye of the betting public.

Danzig Moon was listed at 19-1 odds Friday for the first leg of the U.S. Triple Crown. Earlier this week, the colt was listed as a 30-1 longshot.

"He's getting some respect and the reason why is he's training so well," Casse said from Louisville, Ky. "Everybody is seeing how good he's training.

"But I don't feel like I have any pressure on me, honestly, just getting here is such an accomplishment. I'm proud (to have the field's lone Canadian-bred horse) because Woodbine and Canada have helped me get to where I am and I feel honoured to represent them."

On Saturday, Danzig Moon will run the 1 1/4-mile race distance for the first time.

"He's really a well-bred horse that's bred to go a mile and a quarter so I don't see it being an issue," Casse said. "When you go over plus and minuses, then certainly the distance is a plus.

"He's racing on a track he likes, which is a plus. And he's a fresh horse, which I also think is a plus. There are some negatives ... that would be (early 5-2 favourite) American Pharoah, (3-1 second choice) Dortmund and a few others."

Danzig Moon will break from the No. 5 post in the 19-horse race at Churchill Downs. Casse, six times Canadian racing's top conditioner, likes Danzig Moon's starting spot.

"If we had drawn way outside I don't know if we could overcome that," Casse said. "We need a great, great trip to win and a lot of things to go our way and the first step was drawing the post we did.

"We're inside but we're not too far inside. What I would hope is we could save some ground and let (jockey Julian Leparoux) get him together. With this post position we can sit in the back of the pack and come from behind. …

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