09/11/2006 11:00PM

Casse-trained 2-year-olds not done yet


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse pulled off a one-two shocker here in last Sunday's $163,200 Natalma for 2-year-old fillies, with Sprung springing the upset at 48-1 and Quiet Action completing the $707.20 exactor at 8-1.

On Sunday, Casse will send out another pair of 2-year-olds, this time males, for the $200,000 Summer - which partners with the $1 million Woodbine Mile and the $300,000 Canadian on a powerhouse program.

The Summer and the Natalma are both Grade 3, one-mile turf races, and Casse's candidates for the Summer are Approval Rating and Seaside Links.

Approval Rating and Seaside Links both race in the name of Woodford Racing LLC, which also owns Sprung and Quiet Action.

The Florida-bred Approval Rating is undefeated in two starts, winning his maiden over six furlongs on turf and an allowance prep for the Summer, which came off the grass and was run at 7 1/2 furlongs on the inner track.

Seaside Links, an Ontario-bred, won first crack out, at 4 1/2 furlongs on the former dirt oval, but then finished fourth in two stakes appearances on the inner track, beaten four lengths in the five-furlong Clarendon and 11 lengths in the 7 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy.

"Seaside Links has been really disappointing," said Casse. "I'm hoping he just didn't care for the inner track, because he trained so well everywhere else. He's bred for the grass, so we're going to give him a chance."

Sprung overcame tough post

Sprung, a Kentucky-bred by Grand Slam, was making her first career appearance in the Natalma and broke from the outside post in the field of 13.

"I wouldn't have run her there if I didn't think she had a great amount of ability," said Casse, who watched the Natalma from Turfway Park while en route to the Keeneland sale.

"But still, that being said, she had a lot of obstacles to overcome, just from a first-time starter standpoint. And then, she didn't have the cleanest of trips in the race. She was much the best."

Sprung will point for the $150,000 Mazarine, a Grade 3 race for 2-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack surface here Sept. 30.

"She's pretty versatile," said Casse. "She had a bullet work on the training track, a very good work on the Polytrack, and a good work on the turf. It doesn't really matter to her."

Casse also praised Quiet Action, who had won her maiden over six furlongs of turf here on July 30 and was beaten three-quarters of a length in the Natalma.

"She ran very game," said Casse. "And she even ran a bigger race, if you knew that she missed about 10 days of training since her last race.

"We don't know what she did," said Casse. "She pulled a muscle in her neck, and for about a week she couldn't even put her head down to eat the hay off the ground.

"If you'd asked me 10 days prior to the Natalma, I probably would have said she wasn't even going to run."

Quiet Action's next major target will be the Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 21.

Simply Stylish, runner-up in the seven-furlong Muskoka, a yearling sales stakes for 2-year-old fillies here Sept. 4, also is slated to run for Casse and the Woodford group in the Princess Elizabeth.

Euro invader Streets Ahead gallops here

Streets Ahead, who checked in from England along with Woodbine Mile candidate Vanderlin last weekend, galloped over the main turf course here Wednesday under Leanne Masterton.

"He went six furlongs, and picked it up a bit in the straight," said Masterton, an exercise rider who is here with Streets Ahead for trainer Andrew Balding

Owned by Team Valor, Gary Barber, and John Dwyer, Streets Ahead comes into the Summer off two straight wins within an eight-day span at Salisbury last month, including the one-mile Stonehenge Stakes on Aug. 25.

"He won quite nicely in his last race, which was quite a 'hot' race," said Masterton. "He's very workmanlike."

Hearing set for Malakoff DQ

The Ontario Racing Commission has scheduled Dec. 13 for its hearing into the disqualification of Malakoff, who finished first but was demoted to fifth in the July 16 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

Both Brian Lynch, who trains Malakoff for Stronach Stable, and jockey Todd Kabel, who had been handed a three-day suspension, appealed the decision of the stewards.

Shillelagh Slew was awarded first money in the Prince of Wales and went on the win the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.

The Ontario and Canadian racing season end on Dec. 10 and the Sovereign Award balloting deadline will have passed by the time the Prince of Wales appeal is heard.

Harrow break scheduled on Polytrack

Woodbine will introduce a harrow break, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., on the Polytrack surface beginning Thursday. The track was closed Tuesday and was to be closed again Wednesday morning for some final touch-ups, including the completing of the seven-furlong chute.

Effective Thursday, the training track will no longer have a harrow break.