11/22/2005 12:00AM

Top Notch Lady team goes a long way back


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse and owner Robert J. Wilson, who won Sunday's Glorious Song Stakes here at Woodbine with Top Notch Lady, go back a long way.

"I've trained for him since I was 18," said the 44-year-old Casse, who began his career in Kentucky at that young age. "I even trained this filly's dam for him."

Casse indeed did train Ocean Breeze, a Wilson homebred who is the dam of Top Notch Lady, back in the mid-1980's.

Now Top Notch Lady has joined her dam as a stakes winner after capturing the $146,575 Glorious Song in her sixth career appearance.

Top Notch Lady was cutting back to seven furlongs for the Glorious Song after traveling 1 1/16 miles in her two previous starts, which may have helped to account for the fact that she was sent off at 17-1.

"I was amazed at her price," said Casse. "I don't think she's ever run a bad race. Even in her route races, she wanted to show speed. She's pretty quick."

Top Notch Lady is scheduled to take the winter off in Ocala and return to Casse for a 3-year-old campaign.

Mazarine purse redistributed after positive

Top Notch Lady also got an unexpected boost to her bankroll last weekend when she was awarded second money in the Oct. 1 Mazarine.

Sudsy Baby, trained by Stanley Baresich, had finished second to Knights Templar in the $270,400 Mazarine, with Top Notch Lady a head back in third place.

But, in a ruling released last Sunday, Sudsy Baby was declared unplaced for all purposes except parimutuel wagering because of a positive test for procaine penicillin.

Trainers are required to obtain a slip stating that a horse has been treated with the medication, and its presence in a postrace test is considered an infraction if the procedure has not been followed.

Baresich was fined $2,000.

Auctioned stakes winner still in the barn

Top Notch Lady was the second stakes winner of the meeting for Casse, who also sent out Can Ihavethisdance to win the River Memories here Nov. 5.

Can Ihavethisdance, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, was on the block at Keeneland four days after the River Memories. The filly sold for $240,000 and her new owner, Arthur Hancock, asked Casse if he would continue as her trainer.

Casse accepted, and Can Ihavethisdance returned to Woodbine. The filly has been entered in a fourth-level allowance but that race has failed to fill.

Pair shooting for Display Stakes

Casse is taking dead aim at Saturday's $125,000 Display Stakes, with both Seaside Retreat and Top Authority on target for the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds.

Seaside Retreat, a Kentucky-bred colt owned by Bill Farish Jr., won his first two starts, including the seven-furlong turf prep for the Summer, but passed on the Sept. 18 Summer.

Instead, Seaside Retreat resurfaced in the Grade 3 Grey, a 1 1/16-mile race that was his first try around two turns, and ended third, beaten 3 3/4 lengths as the lukewarm choice.

Top Authority, a California-bred owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, won a first-level allowance last time out in his initial attempt at 1 1/16 miles.

Seaside Retreat and Top Authority worked five furlongs in company here last Sunday, with Seaside Retreat clocked in 1:00.40 under regular rider Patrick Husbands and Top Authority in 1:00.60 under Corey Fraser, who was aboard for his recent score.

Racing career over for Ministers Wild Cat

Ministers Wild Cat, a 5-year-old horse who was purchased privately by Casse for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds early this summer but remained with trainer Scott Fairlie until recently, wound up his career last Saturday in Laurel's Grade 1 De Francis Memorial Dash.

The occasion was not auspicious, however, as Ministers Wild Cat finished last of 14 under Ray Sabourin.

"The horse had trained exceptionally well," said Casse. "He just never tried."

Ministers Wild Cat, who will stand at stud in California, boasts an eye-catching pedigree, being by Deputy Minister out of Hollywood Wildcat.

Trained by Neil Drysdale and then Bob Holthus before coming north to Fairlie last fall, Ministers Wild Cat won 6 of 22 starts, including two stakes, and finished in the money 11 times, banking $406,573.

The De Francis winner was I'm the Tiger, a 5-year-old gelding owned by Stronach Stable.

I'm the Tiger was here earlier this year with Brian Lynch, who was running Stronach's Woodbine operation for trainer Bobby Frankel, but appeared just once locally before joining Frankel in New York.