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Woodbine: Casse has busy weekend planned at home, on the road
By Bill Tallon
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Mark Casse calls it “a crazy weekend.”
On Saturday, Casse will be at Saratoga to saddle Prospective in the Grade 2, $750,000 Jim Dandy, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds. On Sunday Casse will be at Monmouth to send out Stealcase for the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational, also at 1 1/8 miles for the same age group.
Meanwhile, over in Minnesota at Canterbury Park, Delegation will represent the stable in Saturday’s $150,000 Mystic Lake Derby, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds.
And assistant trainers David Adams and Kathryn Sullivan will be busy on the home front, as Casse has entered three horses in Saturday’s Vandal and two in the same day’s Duchess and expects to have a pair for Sunday’s Wonder Where and one for the Royal North.
Uncaptured, coming off a very impressive win in the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon Stakes, was entered in the Vandal, which is a $150,000 race for Ontario-bred 2-year-olds at six furlongs. Calgary Cat, who finished a troubled fifth in his debut, and Dynamic Sky, who will be making his first start, are the other entrants from the Casse barn.
Weather Bill, Town Cat, and River Seven round out the field of six for the Vandal.
Spirited Miss and Sky High Lady will go in the $150,000 Duchess, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. Both Spirited Miss and Sky High Lady are coming off first-level allowance wins and will be looking to take down probable favorite Man Stuff.
Katie Get Excited, Youcan’tcatch me, Actionontwo, Evil Kitten, and Silent Serenity are the others in the Duchess lineup.
Dene Court and Black Bird Rock are on target for the $250,000 Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race that is the last leg of the triple tiara for 3-year-old fillies.
And Roxy Gap has designs on the Grade 3, $150,000 Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares that also is expected to attract the talented Atlantic Hurricane and Jenny’s So Great.
Bargain buy looks to double up
Trainer Abraham Katryan, who has been on a roll recently, will be looking for a second straight win from Weather Bill in the Vandal.
Weather Bill, purchased for a paltry $900 at last year’s local winter mixed sale, was a convincing winner at first asking here July 15, scoring by 3 1/4 lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race for Ontario-sired horses.
“He’s a very quiet and reserved horse,” said Katryan, who has clicked with three of his first eight 2-year-old starters at the meeting and has 15 juveniles, the majority of whom are Ontario-sired, in his barn. “I knew he could run, but the way he did in his first race impressed me quite a bit. He’s come back really good; he’s ready to go.”
Casa Loma always in the hunt
Trainer Bob Tiller, who won last Saturday’s Passing Mood for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies with Grace Phil, will send out a live runner in Casa Loma for the open Duchess Stakes.
“It’s the only place I can run her,” said Tiller, who trains Casa Loma for Rolph Davis. “She’s a filly that’s been close, close, close – she just hasn’t been quite good enough.
“She always tries hard.”
Casa Loma ran second to Tu Endie Wei, Canada’s champion 2-year-old filly, when making her seasonal bow in the open six-furlong Star Shoot here April 14. Two weeks later, Casa Loma finished behind the talented Casse-trained Northern Passion and Dene Court in the seven-furlong Fury for Ontario-breds.
And in her most recent appearance, Casa Loma finished third while beaten a nose for second money in the 1 1/16-mile Bison City for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies. Blue Court and Black Bird Rock, the top two there, are scheduled to swing back in the Wonder Where.
“At the end of the day, seven-eighths might be her perfect distance,” Tiller said.
It’s Gail, another Ontario-sired 3-year-old in the Tiller barn, was nominated to the Wonder Where, but will not be participating.
After winning her first two starts at seven furlongs and then 1 1/16 miles for owner Davis, It’s Gail tried the turf in a restricted allowance race at 1 1/16 miles and finished second in the field of eight.
Tiller, however, was not impressed.
“I think she’s a better horse on Polytrack,” Tiller said. “Her heart and her desire made her run second last time. I didn’t think she was that comfortable on it.”
Tiller said It’s Gail could join stablemates Grace Phil and Nikki’s Bold Gelato, who finished third in the Passing Mood, in the $125,000 Eternal Search here Aug. 12.
The $125,000 Eternal Search is a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.
Meanwhile, Tiller continues to undergo treatment and consult with physicians regarding a knee injury, but no surgery has been scheduled.
Quaesitor puts in work for Breeders’
Quaesitor, coming off a good fourth-place finish in Fort Erie’s Prince of Wales, breezed five furlongs in 1:03 on the training track turf course here Wednesday morning with jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson in the irons.
“He just went nice and easy,” said Ian Howard who trains Quaesitor for the Wayward Stable of his mother, Nancy Howard; sister, Gillian Howard; and Donald Ross. “He worked well enough that he’ll definitely run in the Breeders’ as long as everything is all right.”
Quaesitor was making just his second start of the season in the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales after winning his maiden at 1 1/16 miles here just two weeks earlier.
The $500,000 Breeders’, a 1 1/2-mile turf race, will be run here Aug. 5 and is the final leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.
Incredicat eyeing Seagram Cup
Incredicat, coming off a second-place finish in the six-furlong Achievement Stakes for Ontario-bred 3-year-olds here July 2, breezed four furlongs in 47.40 seconds under exercise rider Tyler Gaskin on Wednesday.
Ian Black, who trains Incredicat for a group including his breeder, David Willmot, has nominated the colt to the Aug. 4 Seagram Cup, a Grade 3, $150,000 race in which he would face older horses at 1 1/16 miles.
“We’ll look at it and see who’s going in,” Black said. “There’s not much left for him as a 3-year-old here until the Ontario Derby.”
The $150,000 Ontario Derby, an open 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, will be run Sept. 16.
Incredicat finished second in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial here June 3, but bypassed the June 24 Queen’s Plate in favor of the Achievement.
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