04/27/2010 11:00PM

Casse back on the local scene


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse, who has been taking care of business on his Florida farm and attending the various sales in the vicinity, will be making his first appearances of the Woodbine meeting this week.

And amongst the races of particular interest to Casse will be Saturday's $150,000 Fury, a seven-furlong stakes for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

Casse will send out Attitude Included in the Fury, which attracted a field of eight headed by Resentless and Roan Inish.

While the Fury is considered a major stepping-stone to the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies to be run June 13, Attitude Included may have a different agenda.

Owned by Casse in partnership with his wife, Tina, Attitude Included capped her first campaign with a front-running win in the 1o1/16-mile South Ocean, which was restricted to Ontario-sired fillies.

"She's training okay, and she's kind of ready to get started somewhere," said Casse.

"This might be a little too tough for her, but it should help set her up for some Ontario-sired spots."

The first Ontario-sired stakes for the division will be the $125,000 Lady Angela at seven-furlongs here May 24.

Casse also nominated Sound of Thunder to the Fury but has opted to run her in a first-level allowance race at seven furlongs.

Sound of Thunder, owned by Woodford Racing LLC and Westrock Stable, was 41-1 when she made a winning debut here in the Muskoka, a seven-furlong yearling sales stakes here last Sept. 7.

After finishing fifth in a first-level allowance over 1 1/16 miles in her only other start at 2, Sound of Thunder spent the winter in Florida with Casse and returned with a strong performance here April 10.

Competing in a first-level allowance race at seven furlongs, Sound of Thunder finished a closing second, beaten a half-length by a winter-raced rival.

"I was very pleased," said Casse. "Seven furlongs is good for her right now.

"I'm hoping for her to run a big race. Hopefully, she'll be our Oaks filly down the road."

Husbands the latest on Field Commission

Field Commission, Canada's champion sprinter in 2009, will have a new rider for his next engagement.

Patrick Husbands, who was aboard when Field Commission worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Monday, has the call for the Grade 3, $150,000 Vigil, a seven-furlong race for 4-year-olds and upward here May 9.

Husbands would be the sixth different rider for Field Commission in as many starts. The most recent was Emile Ramsammy, who was aboard Field Commission when he was a closing second in his seasonal debut, the six-furlong Jacques Cartier here April 10.

Danny Vella trains Field Commission for Ed Seltzer and also owns a minority interest in the 5-year-old horse

Pierce picking a spot

Husbands became available to ride Field Commission in the Vigil when trainer Malcolm Pierce released him from a commitment to ride El Brujo in the race.

El Brujo had been ridden by Husbands in his seasonal debut in the Jacques Cartier, in which he was beaten a total of 1 1/4 lengths as the third-place finisher.

While Pierce nominated El Brujo to the Vigil, he is not particularly keen on facing Field Commission and Fatal Bullet, who was Canada's horse of the year and champion sprinter in 2008 and is on target to return in that stakes.

"He's doing good," said Pierce. "I want to pick the right spot for him."

Fatal Bullet breezed five furlongs in a black-letter 59.40 seconds here last Saturday under his regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva with his trainer, Reade Baker, clocking his final quarter in 22.60.

Cognashene tests main track

Cognashene, a nominee for the July 4 Queen's Plate whom Pierce trains for Sam-Son Farm, worked over the main track here for the first time last Saturday, breezing four furlongs in 48 seconds.

"He's got no speed," said Pierce. "I think he got better at every pole."

Cognashene has started twice, finishing third over 1 1/16 miles of turf at the Fair Grounds and second over 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack at Keeneland.

"It looked like he handled the Polytrack well enough, and that's kind of what we wanted to find out with him," said Pierce.

While Pierce certainly is not ruling out a trip to the Queen's Plate with Cognashene, he also has a long-term eye toward the Breeders', the 1o1/2-mile turf race that concludes the Canadian triple crown series here Aug. 15.

"He acts like he'll run all day, and he's probably going to prefer turf," said Pierce.

Jambalaya still in training

Jambalaya, now 8 years old, returned to the work tab here last Saturday with a three-furlong breeze in 35.80 seconds.

"We worked him sporadically, and kept him in light training over the winter," said Catherine Day Phillips, who trains Jambalaya and is his co-owner along with her husband, Todd Phillips.

"Turf training in Ocala was not very good, because of the weather, so he had to work on Polytrack."

Jambalaya, who confines his morning activities to the dirt training track here, returned from an absence of more than two years to win an allowance race at Woodbine last September and then finished a troubled fifth in Belmont's Grade 3 Red Smith.

The Connaught Cup is the first turf stakes of the meeting, but Day Phillips thinks that race might be coming up too soon for Jambalaya.

"It might be two weeks after that before he's really ready to run," she said.

* Woodbine and its teletheaters will offer advance wagering on Saturday's Churchill Downs program beginning at 3 p.m. Friday.

Pick three, pick four, and pick six pools will not be available until approximately 7 p.m. on Friday, after the day's Churchill races.

Churchill's Friday and Saturday cards begin at 10:30 a.m. and the mutuels will open at 10 a.m. at all Woodbine Entertainment Group sites.