11/09/2010 1:16PM

Casse well pleased with Delightful Mary's showing


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Seven horses shipped south from Woodbine for the Breeders’ Cup.

And while all of their connections were happy to have been part of the show, the man who had the most to cheer about was trainer Mark Casse, who sent out Delightful Mary for a third-place finish in Friday’s Juvenile Fillies.

“It was a very good weekend – it was almost great,” said Casse, who trains Delightful Mary for owner John Oxley. “I was very proud of her.”

Delightful Mary, a Kentucky-bred, had won her first two starts here before finishing second to Wyomia in the Grade 3 Mazarine at 1 1/16 miles.

Last Friday, Delightful Mary had her largest payday to date after she picked up $198,000 in her first trip under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.

“You’re always at a little bit of a disadvantage, making your first track over a dirt track,” said Casse, who had watched Delightful Mary finish 4 1/2 lengths behind the winner but leave nine other rivals in her wake. “Shaun thought she got a little tired. But, we’re happy. She came back good.”

Delightful Mary continued in a southerly direction after her stay in Louisville and is in Ocala, Fla.

“She’ll get a bit of a break, and we’ll map out a plan,” said Casse. “Our goal will be the Kentucky Oaks. We’ll try to get a couple of races for her before then.”

Turf juveniles regroup

Wyomia and New Normal were Woodbine’s representatives in Friday’s Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The start of the race was held up for several minutes, and both Danny Vella, who trains Wyomia, and Mark Frostad, who conditions New Normal, believe the delay had a negative impact on their respective charges.

“I think all that stuff that happened at the gate messed her up a bit,” said Vella of Wyomia, who finished sixth in the field of 14.
“Last time she was very sharp at the start, but she didn’t break well and she just didn’t get a trip.”

Wyomia, a Kentucky-bred who races for her co-breeder, Edward Seltzer, and Beverly Anderson, is headed for the farm in Florida.

“You’ll probably see her towards the end of Gulfstream,” said Vella. “One of our goals might be the Ashland, back on Polytrack at Keeneland.”

New Normal had earned a guaranteed berth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf by virtue of her victory here in the Grade 3 Natalma.

Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Robert S. Evans, New Normal had the lead at every call in the Natalma but never seriously threatened in her eighth-place finish at Churchill Downs.

“She was in the gate so long that she sort of got rattled,” said Frostad. “She stumbled coming out of the gate, lost her position, and never got into the race.”

New Normal is scheduled to Kentucky for a couple of weeks before heading to Florida with her long-term plans to be determined.

Grand Adventure never really in it

Frostad was back in the walking ring at Churchill Downs on Saturday to give rider Patrick Husbands a leg up aboard Grand Adventure for the Turf Sprint.

Grand Adventure, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt owned by Sam-Son Farm, had come into the five-furlong Turf Sprint off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Nearctic over six furlongs of turf here Oct. 16.

But, after drawing the 11 post for the Turf Sprint, Grand Adventure was outrun early and was beaten five lengths as the ninth-place finisher in the field of 14.

“By the time he got going, they were gone,” said Frostad. He had to go way wide, too.

“He’s just not a five-furlong horse. He’s run well at 5 1/2 furlongs but that’s a little too short for him, too. But, we had to take a shot.”

Grand Adventure headed straight to Florida, where he will get a bit of a breather.

“We’ll start planning in a month or so,” said Frostad.

Attfield assesses weekend

Roger Attfield also saddled a pair of Woodbine-based Breeders’ Cup starters, with Miss Keller ending ninth of 11 in Friday’s 1 3/8-mile Filly and Mare Turf and Society’s Chairman ninth of 11 in Saturday’s Mile.

“They both ran their races, for sure,” said Attfield. “They were running against the best horses in the world.”

Miss Keller had finished second in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile turf race that was one of three Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In races run here Oct. 16, and was beaten a grand total of four lengths in the Filly and Mare Turf.

“We’d questioned her at the mile and a quarter, but we thought a mile and three-eighths on the inside turf would be okay for her,” said Attfield.

“She got up there, but she didn’t stay. Her best distance is a mile to a mile and an eighth.”

Miss Keller sold for $720,000 at the Keeneland sale on Tuesday.

Society’s Chairman, an Ontario-sired 7-year-old who races for owner Charles Fipke, was beaten a total of 8 3/4 lengths in the Mile after finishing one length behind Gio Ponti as the runner-up in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile.

“He’ll go on to Florida, and run on another year,” said Attfield. “He’s in good shape.”

Milwaukee Appeal gets some seasoning

Milwaukee Appeal, who had entered Friday’s Ladies’ Classic off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland, was within striking distance in the early going before fading to finish eighth in the field of 11.

Bred in Ontario by the CEC Farm of her owner, Eugene George, the 4-year-old Milwaukee Appeal was back on her home grounds late Sunday afternoon.

“We’re going to check her out and then go from there, see what we’re going to do,” said trainer Scott Fairlie.

“It was a good experience to get one under your belt there, just in case it happens again.”

Win and You’re In vets perform

Six other horses who had made their last appearances in Win and You’re In events here at Woodbine saw action at the Breeders’ Cup.

The major success stories were Pluck, who captured the Grade 3 Summer over one mile on grass here Sept. 18 and came right back to take the Juvenile Turf, and More Than Real, who had finished second in the Natalma and captured the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Court Vision, winner of the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on Sept. 18, finished fifth in Breeders’ Cup Mile with The Usual Q. T., the runner-up here, third in that Breeders’ Cup race.

Bridgetown, a disappointing fifth in the Nearctic, rebounded to finish a solid third in the Turf Sprint.

Al Khali, a troubled fourth here in the Grade 1 Canadian International on Oct. 16, ended last of seven in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.