11/28/2005 12:00AM

Arch Hall's repeat caps big weekend for Casse, Husbands


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse and jockey Patrick Husbands were front and center here at Woodbine last weekend, teaming up to win Sunday's $125,000 Sir Barton with Arch Hall and Saturday's $140,950 Display with Seaside Retreat.

Arch Hall, a homebred 4-year-old colt who races for Melnyk Racing Stable, was recording his second career stakes win, both coming in the Sir Barton.

"I just wish they ran the Sir Barton more often," said Casse.

Arch Hall, who won his first Sir Barton last Dec. 8 and did not return to the races until Aug. 20, was making just his fourth start of the season here Sunday.

"He chipped his knee when he won the Sir Barton last year. That's why he took so long to get back," said Casse. "I only had him about 30 days before I ran him the first time. The farm did a tremendous job of rehabilitating him."

The farm referred to is Winding Oaks, Melnyk's Florida base, run by Phil Hronec.

And while Casse is uncertain as to Arch Hall's immediate future, a full season of Ontario-sired stakes is an enticing prospect for 2006.

In the meantime, Arch Hall will stand as the fourth stakes winner of the meeting and the fifth of the season for Casse.

Husbands, who won four races on Sunday and earned his sixth stakes victory of the year, will sit out Wednesday through Friday after dropping an appeal of an earlier suspension.

Stakes breakthrough

Seaside Retreat, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old colt owned by Bill Farish Jr., recorded his first stakes victory and won his third race in four starts in the Display.

After scoring in his debut at six furlongs here Aug. 14, Seaside Retreat was a rather handy winner despite only a half-length margin over runner-up Bears Kid in the seven-furlong turf prep for the Summer Stakes here Sept. 1.

Casse, however, elected to bypass the Grade 2 Summer, a one-mile turf stakes here Sept. 18 that was won by Bears Kid, and await the 1 1/16-mile Grey on Oct. 10, where Seaside Retreat finished third.

"He was starting to get a little bit light on us," said Casse, looking back on his decision to pass the Summer. "When he ran in the Grey, I probably didn't do him justice. I didn't train him hard enough.

"I trained him hard for this race. He's gotten heavy again - he's a big horse. He's got a chance of being a pretty decent horse."

To that end, Seaside Retreat will be heading to Florida and is scheduled for a short break before gearing back up in late December.

"If he has a shot against some good horses down there, I don't want to be laying off him too long," said Casse. "I'll look for a race somewhere around February."

Casse identified the Grade 3, $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby, a 1 1/16-mile race on March 18, as a possible long-term target for Seaside Retreat. The $125,000 Sam F. Davis, a 1 1/16-mile race there Feb. 18, could serve as a stepping-stone.

Sovereign picture altered

Seaside Retreat also thrust himself into his division's Sovereign Award picture with his success in the Display.

Edenwold, who remains his division's only triple stakes winner in Ontario and is the money leader among 2-year-old colts and geldings, finished 5 1/2 lengths back in fifth in his second defeat since stretching out around two turns.

Pyramid Park had been prominent in the fall's two major Canadian-bred stakes for the division, winning the Cup and Saucer at 1 1/16 miles on turf here Oct. 16 and running second (with Edenwold fourth) in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity Nov. 10.

Pyramid Park was entered in the Display but did not start.

"He had a little bit of a tender shin, which he'd been nursing since before the Cup and Saucer," said Michael Doyle, who trains Pyramid Park for owner and breeder Thor Eaton. "I decided the right thing to do was not to run him back in two weeks and two days, and wait for the Kingarvie. That made more sense."

The $125,000 Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile Ontario-sired stakes, will be run here closing day, Dec. 11.

Sharp works prepping for Bessarabian

Kissed by a Prince and Stonington, both pointing for Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Bessarabian, worked sharply here last Saturday in preparation for the seven-furlong handicap for fillies and mares.

Kissed by a Prince, who has been weighted at 116 pounds for the Bessarabian, drilled four furlongs under regular rider Dino Luciani in 46.60 seconds, the fastest of 18 works at the distance on the training track.

"The filly worked really good," said Mike DePaulo, who trains the 5-year-old Kissed by a Prince for Heather Landymore. "I think the training track might have been a little fast."

Stonington, who has been assigned 114 pounds for the Bessarabian, zipped five furlongs under exercise rider Larry Attard in 58 seconds, the quickest of 28 works at the distance on the main track.

"She worked awesome," said Sid Attard, who trains Stonington for Frank and Kathleen Lynett. "She did it easy."