04/06/2016 9:06AM

Wise Dan, Casse headed to Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Email
Michael Burns
Wise Dan wins the Woodbine Mile for the second time in 2013.

Two-time Woodbine Mile winner Wise Dan and perennial Woodbine leading trainer Mark Casse headline this year’s list of five Thoroughbred racing inductees to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame’s 20-member election committee determined the inductees through a secret ballot.

Wise Dan won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in 2012 and 2013, setting the one-mile turf-course record in the 2013 edition of the race. He went on to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile in both years and won Eclipse Awards as Horse of the Year, champion male grass horse, and champion older male in both seasons. In his 31 career starts, Wise Dan recorded 23 wins, including 11 in Grade 1 races, and earned more than $7.5 million for trainer Charlie LoPresti and owner and breeder Morton Fink.

Casse is a seven-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s outstanding trainer and is in line to win the award once again at Friday night’s Sovereign Award ceremonies. Casse has been Woodbine’s leading trainer 10 times and holds the record for the most wins during a single Woodbine meet with 119 victories in 2011. Casse won his first Queen’s Plate in 2014 with Lexie Lou and won his first two Breeders’ Cup races in 2015 with Catch a Glimpse in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Tepin in the Mile.

Casse has trained eight Canadian classic winners, including three Prince of Wales Stakes winners, three Woodbine Oaks winners, one Queen’s Plate winner, and one Breeders’ Stakes winner.

The three other Thoroughbred racing inductees are Michael Colterjohn, Daryl Wells Sr., and Dahlia.

The late Colterjohn joined Gardiner Farms in 1987 and became farm president, building a quality broodmare band that made the farm a significant player in the Canadian yearling market. Following the sale of Gardiner Farms in 2008, Colterjohn founded Paradox Farm with his wife, Moira Gunn, and farm manager Sherry McLean. Among the horses bred by Paradox Farm are 2014 Queen’s Plate winner and Canadian Horse of the Year Lexie Lou and 2011 Canadian champion 3-year-old male Pender Harbour.

The late Wells was Woodbine’s first track announcer in 1956 and also called races at Fort Erie and Greenwood racetracks. Wells called races at Woodbine until 1986, and some of his more famous calls include Northern Dancer’s Queen’s Plate win in 1964 and Secretariat’s final race in 1973 in the Canadian International.

Dahlia won Group 1 or Grade 1 stakes in five different countries, including the Canadian International in 1974 as a 4-year-old. She won 15 of 48 career starts and became the first female horse to surpass $1 million in earnings.

The five Standardbred inductees are the horses San Pail and Odies Fame, along with John Ferguson Sr., Yves Filion, and Bruce Johnston.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Aug. 3.