08/04/2004 11:00PM

Casse hopes duo will move forward


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse will take two stabs at the $136,750 Seagram Cup Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday, when he sends out The Judge Sez Who and Hydrogen in 1 1/16-mile race for older runners.

Mobil was also entered in the Seagram and will be the favorite if he runs, but he could be scratched in favor of next Saturday's Grade 1 Arlington Million, a race his connections have had in mind for him.

The Judge Sez Who, a late-running 5-year-old with $937,328 in earnings, will vault over the $1 million milestone with a win Saturday. He earned a check in six derbies as a 3-year-old, including a win in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby.

The Judge Sez Who is winless in his last 10 outings, and switched trainers in the spring, going from Calder-based Milt Wolfson to Mark Casse. In his only start for Casse here July 1, in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Handicap, The Judge Sez Who rallied wide to finish third, 13 lengths behind the winner, Mobil.

Casse said he anticipates a better effort from The Judge Sez Who, who was only beaten a neck for second in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day, with Patrick Husbands riding.

"I think that last race is a lot better than what it looked like," Casse said. "Patrick learned something about him, and I think he'll be able to ride him a little better now. He definitely would have been second had he not tried to catch Mobil by putting him into an all-out drive at the five-eighths pole."

Hydrogen captured his first stakes Nov. 30, in the Valedictory Handicap at 1 3/4 miles. He didn't see action again until the Dominion Day, in which he finished a fifth.

"I thought his last race was alright," Casse said. "He should move forward from there. It was a tough spot to come back in, going a mile and a quarter off a long layoff. We just didn't have any other options for him. We actually entered him in a four-other-than, and he was the only horse in there. The better races around here haven't been filling."

If Mobil is withdrawn, Mark One should be the Seagram favorite.

Trained by Danny Vella for Stronach Stable, Mark One has won two of his five starts this year, including the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap, in which he earned a career-high 103 Beyer Figure over a sloppy track on May 2.