05/12/2008 11:00PM

Charity Quest fits familiar Casse pattern

Email

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Like anybody else, trainer Mark Casse loves when a plan comes together.

Casse took many of the best horses in a stable that has become a Canadian powerhouse to Florida for the winter, intent on priming for a big year back home. An integral part of the plan, he said, was to have them get ready "with a race or two," including a stopover of maybe a couple of months in Kentucky in the spring.

Last week, three of his best turf horses - all with one prep race under their belts - won turf races at Churchill Downs en route to an imminent return to Woodbine in Ontario. Sprung won May 7 at a $6.40 mutuel; Marchfield won Friday, returning $3.80; and Seaside Retreat won Saturday, paying $19.40.

With Charity Quest, a Stonerside Stable homebred, Casse has one of the main contenders in the Thursday feature at Churchill, a $43,100 entry-level allowance scheduled for a mile on the turf. Bettors with an awareness of what Casse has been doing will see a similar pattern with Charity Quest, although the filly's lone prep this year came in early February, thus bringing into question whether she has the recency to duplicate her stablemates' feats of the previous week.

A series of sharp workouts at Churchill may help to allay those fears. Charity Quest, with Shaun Bridgmohan to ride, will break from post 6 in a race carded with 15 horses, although only as many as 10 will be allowed to start.

Other contenders include Full of Ideas, already second three times at this level; Brave Mizz, the beaten favorite in her last two starts; Dandy Mandy, a maiden winner over the Santa Anita turf in her last start in late March; and Ballynoe, a 3-year-old whose turf pedigree (her dam sire is Dynaformer) suggests she might like stretching out and trying grass for the first time.

Of course, wet weather - which is in the forecast here for Wednesday and Thursday - would make the whole grass thing moot. If the race moves to the main track, Ballynoe would be among the fillies getting the fans' nod going a one-turn mile.

Meanwhile, the first stakes since the May 3 Kentucky Derby will be run here on Saturday: the $100,000 Matt Winn for 3-year-old sprinters.