06/13/2001 11:00PM

Casse holds aces in Victoria


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - First-time starter Expected Hour and unbeaten Spy Hill could be the two big guns in Saturday's $111,200 Victoria Stakes at Woodbine.

Mark Casse, who trains three of the eight 2-year-olds in the five-furlong race, including Expected Hour, said on Wednesday that he may scratch the two Mockingbird Farm fillies he has in the field - Jealous Forum and Misty Expectation.

Expected Hour was purchased from Mockingbird for $450,000 at the April Ocala 2-year-old sale by the partnership of Bill Farish Jr., George Bolton, Edward Gaylord, and Elizabeth Grossman.

"He worked phenomenal for the sale," Casse recalled. "I believe he breezed a quarter in 21.80. He went out three-eighths in 33.60, and was up a half-mile in 47.20.

"I'm excited about him," Casse added. "He's a very pretty horse. He's a tall, rangy type. He's very smart. We've done all kinds of schooling with him, and he's done everything well. He's ready to run."

Jealous Forum ran a hole in the wind on the front end when she won her debut in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden dash May 5, earning an 82 Beyer Figure. "I think she'll be the favorite if she runs off that Beyer," Casse said.

Misty Expectation, like Expected Hour, is an unraced offspring of hot freshman sire Valid Expectations.

"I'm really high on her," Casse said. "If she doesn't run this weekend, I might run her in the My Dear Stakes (on June 23). That's where Jealous Forum is going to run, barring any unforeseen circumstances."

Spy Hill was a $65,000 juvenile purchase in Ocala by James and Alice Sapara. He graduated on the front end in his lone outing, in a Keeneland maiden special April 18, when he ran 4 1/2 furlongs in 53 seconds flat.

Trainer Josie Carroll, who won last year's Victoria with Sam Lord's Castle, has plenty of admiration for Spy Hill, a son of Phone Trick.

"He's just a lovely little horse," said Carroll. "He does everything you ask of him."