09/30/2008 12:00AM

Casse wins with these at 47 percent clip


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There will be some spectacular racing at Woodbine this week, with the Canadian International card on Saturday and the Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes on Sunday, but Thursday's card is definitely a bump in the road.

The only non-claiming event on the nine-race program is the second, a seven-furlong maiden special for 2-year-old fillies. Closing Speed will likely be favored in the $66,000 contest.

Closing Speed's only start came on the grass Aug. 20 at Saratoga. She got away slowly before closing wide for third in that 5 1/2-furlong dash, which was won by the promising Phipps Stable runner Consequently.

Closing Speed has worked five-eighths three times here on the Polytrack since her debut. Her trainer, Mark Casse, has won with a whopping a 47 percent of his 2-year-old second-time starters that came off a grass race during the past five years.

The first-time starters Dance for Us, Maria's Girl and Cherokee Lynn finished fifth, sixth and seventh in a six-furlong maiden special Sept. 7. The winner, Campfire Girl, subsequently ran third in the $100,000 Presque Isle Debutante Stakes.

Dance for Us was beaten five lengths after trying to mount a rally that day. She has since worked a quick five-eighths for trainer Barb Minshall.

Maria's Girl broke from post 11 and made up some ground to finish about seven lengths back. The daughter of Maria's Mon is bred to stretch out.

Cherokee Lynn got away very slowly and passed a few tiring rivals. She gets Lasix on Thursday. Trainer Danny Vella has an 11 percent strike rate with second-timers who are going on Lasix.

First-time starter Brazilian Wedding is by successful young sire Milwaukee Brew, who has won with 16 percent of his debuting 2-year-olds. Her dam placed in three stakes. This is her first foal to race.

Race the Breeze and Cinema Show are coupled because they are both owned by Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry.

Race the Breeze is debuting with a turf pedigree for trainer Catherine Day Phillips. She is by the esteemed older sire Theatrical, and her dam has thrown Summer Stakes winner Bachelor Blues.

Cinema Show dropped back abruptly after being checked on the far turn in her Sept. 11 opener over a mile and 70oyards. The daughter of Gulch is sent out by trainer Greg De Gannes, who's in the midst of a career year.