11/17/2008 1:00AM

Injury clears the way for Casse's juveniles


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - One week prior to last Sunday's $250,000 Coronation Futurity, trainer Mark Casse was not planning to enter either Active Duty or Gallant in the 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

Both were maidens but had made their most recent appearances in the Cup and Saucer, which was run at 1o1/16 miles of yielding turf, with Active Duty finishing sixth and Gallant fourth in a race that Utterly Cool won by 10 1/4 lengths for trainer Sid Attard.

"I decided I'd been too hard on them and decided to take the easy path," Casse said. "But when I heard about Sid's horse being injured and out of the race, going in there was a no-brainer."

The change in plans proved to be a lucrative one as Active Duty took home the Coronation's winner's share of $150,000 and Gallant added fourth money of $15,000 to the Casse coffers.

Patrick Husbands had been named on both horses but opted for Gallant. Corey Fraser, who also had ridden Active Duty in the Cup and Saucer, took over for the biggest win of his career.

Active Duty, an $80,000 Keeneland yearling who campaigns for Woodford Racing LLC, was making his fifth career appearance but his first on the main track.

"The horse had been training really good on Polytrack," Casse said. "The reason for his beginning on turf was the Cup and Saucer.

"I thought he'd run really good there, but it was a poor performance. The turf was so soft that day, it was kind of a throw-out."

Active Duty, who had been gelded prior to the Cup and Saucer, will not see action again this season.

"He'll probably go to Ocala for a little while, then to New Orleans or California," Casse said. "We'll try to figure out a way to get him to the Queen's Plate."

Gallant, also owned by the Woodford group, was making his fourth start in the Coronation Futurity and his third in a stakes race.

"He may run back here in a maiden race," said Casse, who was recording his ninth stakes victory of the meeting in the Coronation Futurity, putting him second in that category behind Roger Attfield's 12 stakes scores.

Casse not finished in juvenile stakes

Retraceable, winner of the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth at 1 1/16 miles in her last start here, should be Casse's next stakes starter here in the Nov. 30 Ontario Lassie.

The Lassie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies, offers a purse of $150,000.

Casse also could be represented by both Shafted and Oconee in the $150,000 Display, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds here Dec. 6.

Shafted was a winner going a mile and 70 yards in his only start, a "B" maiden special here Oct. 16.

Oconee is coming off a second-place finish in a first-level allowance at a mile and 70 yards here Oct. 24.

"We had decided last year, more than ever, that we wanted 2-year-olds who could run a route of ground," Casse said. "We didn't win many 2-year-old races early."

Casse starts fast at Fair Grounds

Casse will have divisions in both Louisiana and California during the offseason and had his first starters and first winner of the Fair Grounds meeting Sunday.

Rose of Killarney, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly, captured a first-level allowance race for fillies and mares in which her stablemate, Nite in Rome, ended fifth.

On Tuesday, the first group of Casse runners was scheduled to head to California, where Casse has designs on a couple of upcoming stakes at Hollywood Park.

Congor Bay, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old who races for Eugene Melnyk, is slated for next Sunday's Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue, a seven-furlong race worth $100,000.

Insurgence, a Kentucky-bred owned by Woodford Racing, is targeting the Grade 3, $100,000 Miesque at one mile on turf Nov. 29.

Carroll ships in Selva for stakes win

Trainer David Carroll had never been to Canada, let alone Woodbine, when he checked in for Saturday's Glorious Song Stakes.

And while the elements were unkind, with a pelting rain and a cold driving wind the day's main offerings, Carroll was willing to overlook those minor details after watching Selva romp to an impressive two-length victory under Emma-Jayne Wilson in the $152,900 Glorious Song for 2-year-old fillies.

"Obviously, we were very pleased with her performance," said Carroll as he prepared to head home to Kentucky under sunny skies Sunday. "She hadn't run since Aug. 31, but she broke extremely sharp and was in the race the whole way.

"She came out of the race well," he added. "We'll get her home and see what's out there for her. Obviously, she's an improving filly with a lot of talent. I'm not quite sure how far she'll go, but she handled this seven-furlong trip well."

Selva, a Kentucky-bred who races for her owners and breeders, Helen Alexander and Helen Groves, was making her third career start in the Glorious Song and has yet to taste defeat.

Based at Saratoga in midsummer, Selva won her maiden at 5 1/2 furlongs in the slop on Aug. 7 and then made a day trip to Monmouth Park to capture the six-furlong Sorority over a fast track on Aug. 31.

Back at her home base of Churchill Downs in September, Selva was pointing for the $100,000 Presque Isle Debutante, a six-furlong race on Sept. 27, until a fever put paid to that plan.

"I had to let her regroup and started pointing her for this race," Carroll said. "There was really nothing available for her at Keeneland or Churchill."

Selva, who was awarded a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 85 for her Glorious Song tally, was the 10th stakes winner of the meeting for Wilson, putting her fourth in that category.

Heading into the last three weeks of the meeting, with just seven stakes left to run, the top three are Jono Jones with 15; Eurico Rosa Da Silva with 13; and Chantal Sutherland, who now is riding in California, with 12.