Mark Casse Stable Tour

The five-time Breeders’ Cup winner, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame this year, takes the wraps off his runners in Kentucky for the 2020 renewal – headed by Got Stormy in the Turf Sprint.

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Mark Casse is an 11-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s leading trainer. Earlier this year, he was elected to the U.S. National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He is a five-time Breeders’ Cup winner and has six entrants this year.

Watch the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.

DIRTY DANGLE (Juvenile Turf Sprint): Daughter of Not This Time won her debut over Keeneland’s synthetic surface in August and came back to win a stakes going five furlongs on turf. Those wins came for trainer Ralph Biamonte and owners Mary Biamonte and Carmen DeMizio. She was sold privately thereafter to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber and sent  to Mark Casse. These connections are never bashful about running females against males as they showed when Tepin won the BC Mile here in 2015.

“She was pretty impressive, overcame a lot of trouble, came with a big run,” Casse said of Dirty Dangle’s victory in a stakes at Woodbine. “There are not a whole lot of opportunities out there. This is a filly, no matter what happens Friday, I think she’s going to be a nice filly doing a lot of different things down the road.

“Are we taking a shot? Absolutely. If she could get lucky and hit the board, it would be worth it.”

GRETZKY THE GREAT (Juvenile Turf): After finishing second in his debut, this son of Nyquist has reeled off three consecutive victories including a 3 1-4-length score in the Grade 1 Summer Stakes going a one-turn mile at Woodbine on September 20th.

‘He’s a late foal and early on he was a little pudgy thing that was a great mover,” Casse said. “As he’s gotten older, he’s now 16-hands tall, he’s a beautiful horse now who’s got a lot of stretch to him. I think the two-turn mile is not going to hurt. The one-turn mile at Woodbine is a tough distance, and he won with his ears pricked.”

SPANISH LOVEAFFAIR (Juvenile Fillies Turf): Daughter of 2014 upset BC Mile winner Karakontie, this filly won her first two starts in the summer at Gulfstream Park before finishing second to Aunt Pearl in the Grade 2 Jessamine here on October 4th.

Originally owned by Mark’s wife Tina and Michael Hernon, Spanish Loveaffair is now owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Gary Barber and Hernon.

Spanish Loveaffair stepped up into graded stakes company with a strong second-place finish to Aunt Pearl in the Grade 2 Jessamine to probable Juvenile Fillies Turf favorite Aunt Pearl.

Casse said he after his young horses train for a while, he puts a grade them. Originally, he had Spanish Loveaffair as a C.

“As soon as we got her on the grass at Palm Meadows, she moved up a couple of grades,” Casse said. “After she won the first time, I told my wife ‘Enjoy that one Babe, that’s going to be the last time you own her.”

Speaking of the Jessamine, Casse said, “I thought her last race was extremely good. If you look at her Ragozin and Thorograph sheet numbers she ran as good as the winner.”

GOT STORMY (Turf Sprint): Written off as done after a couple of below-par efforts earlier this year, this five-year-old mare has been rejuvenated with the turnback in distance. Casse has said ad nauseam that in order for Get Stormy to be successful going a mile she needs “rock-hard turf” and he knew that wouldn’t be the case at Keeneland in November.

So, he cut back to 6 1-2 furlongs in the Ladies Sprint at Kentucky Downs, which she won comfortably and then to 5 1-2 furlongs in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County at 5 1-2 furlongs which she got up to win by a nose in the last jump.

“I was very frustrated with everybody counting her out,” Casse said. “I told (owner Gary Barber) I promise you she’s as good as she’s ever been maybe better. It’s just that every time we had her in it rained so we had to go to Plan B.”

WAR OF WILL (Dirt Mile): The 2019 Preakness winner who finished ninth in last year’s BC Classic is now also a Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt after taking the Maker’s Mark Mile two starts back. Casse said he would have run him in the BC Mile on turf had he not run third in the Woodbine Mile last time.

“He’s training so well on dirt we thought we’d give him another try,” Casse said. “I don’t mind a mile because a stalker and the shorter they run the fast the pace so that might give him a good shot.”

MARCH TO THE ARCH (Mile): A bit of a hard-luck horse needs pace and trip to be most effective. Won the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes going a mile at Woodbine on August 15th and then had a bit of trouble when second to Starship Jubilee in the Woodbine Mile on September 19th.

“He could have won three or more races, he’s his own worst enemy,” Casse said. “He doesn’t have a quick turn of foot and sometimes he gets outrun to spots and ends up getting held up. He’s proven on occasion he can run with the best. One of those times when he could have won was Keeneland last year.”

Casse was referring to the 2019 Shadwell Turf Mile where he was beaten a length when trying to rally from 13th in a 14-horse field.

Watch the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.

Mark Casse Stable Tour
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