09/17/2003 11:00PM

Casse likes Do You Love It


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - If trainer Mark Casse had his wish he would be running Maple Syrple, the talented filly whose career he launched this spring, in Saturday's Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine.

But Maple Syrple was sold last month to Darley Stud and is now trained by Tom Albertrani, so Casse must be content with running Do You Love It in the Grade 2 Mazarine.

Do You Love It, owned by Casse with partners, made her first two starts on turf.

In her Aug. 22 debut, Do You Love It finished second to fellow first-time starter Ralla at seven furlongs. She then ran fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Natalma over one mile, a race in which Ralla was ninth.

"She's a nice filly," said Casse. "I liked her the first time she ran. I thought she would win but she ran second; I was pleased with that.

"And I thought her Natalma race was a good race. She looked like she had improved from her first race. The filly that beat her first time out, she came back and won pretty handily."

While Casse is not concerned that Do You Love It is trying dirt and two turns for the first time in the Mazarine, he harbors reservations over the timing of the race.

"She's actually worked as well on the dirt as she has on the grass," said Casse. "I wouldn't think she should have a tough time with the dirt or the route of ground. But I wish we had another week or so in between races. She's not a big filly."

Two Casse Mazarine nominees sit out

Two other Casse runners, Saree and Verybrightnshiney, were nominated to the Mazarine but are not in the lineup.

Saree, purchased privately by Earle Mack after winning her first start in England July 19, was defeated by only a head as the Natalma runner-up in her North American debut.

"We just decided [the Mazarine] would have been too much for her, too quickly back," said Casse.

Verybrightnshiney, owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, finished second in her debut in the six-furlong Ontario Debutante here Aug. 10, then third as the favorite in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special Sept. 6.

"She had a little respiratory infection, that's why she didn't run better," said Casse. "She's just on the mend."

La Grande Mamma experimenting

The Mazarine originally was not in the plans for La Grande Mamma, whom Steve Owens trains for Don Lebovitz.

La Grande Mamma, claimed for $25,000 from a winning debut at 5 1/2 furlongs here July 4, came back to win the six-furlong Nandi, an Ontario Sire Stakes here July 26, and to finish second in the seven-furlong Muskoka, a yearling sales stakes Sept. 1.

Owens had pointed La Grande Mamma to the $125,000 Victorian Queen, a six-furlong stakes for Ontario-sired fillies here Oct. 1, but instead will run her against open company in the Mazarine.

"It was a last-minute decision," said Owens. "With the field being so small, I figured I'd take a shot."

Owens admits that the Mazarine's distance could be a stumbling block for La Grande Mamma.

"I don't know how she'll handle it; it's an experiment," he said.

"But she raced three weeks ago, and this race comes at an opportune time."

If she runs well in the Mazarine she could run next in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred fillies here Oct. 12.

Silver Bird skips Mazarine

Silver Bird, a promising prospect trained by Reade Baker, passed up the Mazarine in order to concentrate on the Princess Elizabeth.

Owned by Jim McAlpine, president and chief executive of Magna Entertainment, Silver Bird won at first asking at 5 1/2 furlongs in the mud on Aug. 2, then finished seventh in the Natalma.

"I don't think she liked the turf," said Baker.

Silver Bird worked five furlongs on the fast main track in 1:01.80 here Thursday.

Ontheqt points to Fanfreluche

Ontheqt, another promising 2-year-old filly in the Baker barn, also was nominated to the Mazarine but has been pointing for the Fanfreluche, a six-furlong race for Canadian-bred fillies here Oct. 26.

A homebred owned by Baker in partnership with his wife, Janis Maine, Ontheqt won first crack out over five furlongs and finished second to the talented Blonde Executive in a first-level allowance at six furlongs here on Sept. 12.

Hour of Justice is shut down

Hour of Justice, a stakes-winning Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly whom Baker trains for Stronach Stable, had been aiming for next Saturday's 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette, but is through for the year.

"She pulled a muscle in her back last Sunday, in her breeze," said Baker.

Hour of Justice worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 that day.

Hour of Justice, unbeaten in her first two starts here last fall, raced just four times this year.

After opening up her campaign with a second-place finish in the six-furlong Star Shoot, Hour of Justice won the Alywow over 6 1/2 furlongs of yielding turf, defeated older fillies and mares under third-level allowance conditions at 6 1/2 furlongs, then ended second in the Ontario Colleen at a mile on the grass.

McAleney, Olguin riding in B.C. Derby

Jockey Jim McAleney will be at Hastings on Sunday to participate in the $250,000 British Columbia Derby.

McAleney's mount is Royal Place, owned by K.K. Sangara, who is based in British Columbia but has an outfit here with trainer Lorne Richards.

Gerry Olguin also will be traveling to Vancouver, to ride Pants N Kisses in the B.C. Derby. Pants N Kisses is trained at Woodbine by Dave Cotey.