08/22/2006 11:00PM

Casse entry top two in turf dash


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Mark Casse-trained entry of Seaside Links and Approval Rating will take center stage in Friday's fourth race at Woodbine, a seven-furlong turf allowance that serves as the prep for the Grade 3 Summer Stakes on Sept. 17.

Seaside Links and Approval Rating were both six-figure Keeneland yearling purchases by Woodford Racing LLC, a new racing partnership headed by Bill Farish Jr.

Seaside Links won his maiden at first asking in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden dash June 11, when he broke a step slowly and then closed three wide to prevail by a neck, receiving a 67 Beyer Speed Figure. Seaside Links did not appear comfortable over the tight inner dirt track in his only other outing, the July 8 Clarendon Stakes, in which he finished fourth as the favorite after a wide journey.

From the first crop of Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, Seaside Links is a half-brother to 1999 Canadian champion turf female Free Vacation, who beat the boys in the Breeders' Stakes.

"He's a real pretty horse with a nice pedigree," Casse said. "He's done everything right from the beginning and seems to have a lot of class. I look at him as a Queen's Plate horse for next year if he stays healthy."

Approval Rating overcame a slow start and a wide trip to take his July 16 debut, which came in an important six-furlong maiden special on the grass. First Cavalry, the fifth-place finisher, subsequently captured the Winnipeg Futurity, and Sergei, the ninth-place finisher, came back to win his maiden at a big price.

The fourth-race field also includes Lifes Not a Breeze, Diamond Max, and Watz His Name.

A first-time starter, Lifes Not a Breeze possesses a superb grass pedigree. He is a son of Cozzene and a half-brother to four turf winners, including Dr. Kashnikow, who won the Grade 2 Fourstardave.

Diamond Max won his maiden second time out, then finished seventh in the open Colin Stakes in his last start.

Watz His Name closed for fourth when he made his debut on the dirt. His dam has no winners from five turf starters.