12/22/2011 3:00PM

Gulfstream: Casse takes two shots in Ginger Brew


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – In a race as wide open as Saturday’s $60,000 Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream Park, it doesn’t hurt to have more than one bullet to fire at the competition. That is a theory trainer Mark Casse will embrace when he sends out two of his promising juvenile fillies, Spirited Miss and Sky High Lady, against 11 rivals on a Christmas Eve program that begins at noon Eastern. The Ginger Brew is for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Spirited Miss is already stakes placed, having finished second, beaten a head, in the Mazarine Stakes over Woodbine’s Polytrack surface on Oct. 8. Spirited Miss will attempt to rebound from the only poor effort of her campaign, a 10th-place finish under Javier Castellano in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs.

“She got bothered a bit coming out of the gate in the Golden Rod, didn’t react very well to the dirt in her face, and wanted to jump over the inside rail for about the first half-mile,” said Casse. “By that time she kind of got herself out of it and the rider didn’t persevere. In no way was that race any indication of her true ability.”

Spirited Miss’s best effort came in her only try on grass, a fourth-place finish in Woodbine’s Group 3 Natalma. She faced a strong group that included Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten.

“She got in trouble back around the turn, then came running once getting herself together in the Natalma,” said Casse. “I was quite happy with her performance and I think she’s training better into this race than any of her others.”

Sky High Lady finished fourth in the Mazarine after a very slow start, two lengths behind Spirited Miss. She won her maiden over dirt in her most recent outing, which came at Churchill Downs.

“She got left pretty bad in the Mazarine, then circled wide and finished pretty good,” said Casse. “Her last-race Beyer was slow, but they ran so slow early it was impossible to get a big number when she won her maiden. I originally had her entered in an allowance race, but after looking at the past performances it looked like the stakes wasn’t going to be much tougher so why not try to get both fillies some black type?”

Welcome Dance, Ann of the Dance, Frolic’s Revenge and Sinister Brew are the multiple winners in the evenly matched Ginger Brew field.

Welcome Dance has sandwiched a pair of victories around a 12th-place effort in the Natalma in three career starts. She lost all chance in the Natalma after stumbling at the break.

Ann of the Dance was hung wide and beat only one horse in the Juvenile Fillies Turf in her first start since being purchased privately and turned over to trainer Marty Wolfson during the fall. Karlovy Vary returns to turf after finishing a wide-running seventh in the Golden Rod.

Frolic’s Revenge was forced to race wide after breaking from a tough post and was never a factor in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, following a fourth-place finish in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Alcibiades.