10/21/2011 11:51AM

Woodbine: Casse has potent duo for Franfreluche in Bagatelle Park, Quality Lass


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bagatelle Park and Quality Lass should give trainer Mark Casse a solid one-two punch in Sunday’s $150,000 Fanfreluche Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for Ontario-bred 2-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

Bagatelle Park was a stalking third behind future stakes winner and stablemate Northern Passion when she debuted July 9. She never started again until Sept. 18, when she captured a six-furlong maiden special after closing from third, earning a 70 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She got sick for a while after her first start,” Casse recalled. “I thought her race back was very good. I would think that she’ll move forward.”

Quality Lass checked in fourth behind three nice prospects in her first start in the July 17 Shady Well Stakes. Three weeks later, she romped home on top by seven lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special, earning an 81 Beyer.

Quality Lass set the pace for a half-mile before fading badly in the Sept. 17 Natalma Stakes, over a mile on the grass. The third-place finisher in that Grade 3 event, Stephanie’s Kitten, came back to win the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland.

“She broke her maiden like a good horse,” Casse said. “Then, I took her to Saratoga, but I didn’t think she handled the track very well there, so I brought her back, and we gave her a shot on the grass. It was just beyond her comfort zone. This one won’t be quite so tough.”

Casse predicted that his uncoupled duo should both acquit themselves well in the Fanfreluche, which was won by the brilliant Inglorious last year.

“I feel like both fillies have a good shot,” said Casse. “They complement each other.”

Kitty’s Got Class won her two outings, both in Ontario-sired company, by a combined total of 14 lengths. She came along the rail from just off the pace to air in her debut, and then took the six-furlong Victorian Queen Stakes by six lengths with a 70 Beyer.

“She drew the 1-hole in both of her starts,” said trainer Mike DePaulo. “Last time, she broke towards the inside, which scared us a little, but it didn’t take long for her to right herself, and off she went. For some reason, she’s been a little funny switching leads in the afternoon, but she’s won easily enough.”

DePaulo said Kitty’s Got Class isn’t a headstrong type.

“I think she’s pretty rateable,” said DePaulo. “She doesn’t have to go to the lead. She just seems to find herself there.”