10/03/2011 12:56PM

Woodbine: Casse shatters single-season win record

Michael Burns
Indian Pond wins Sunday's $150,800 Carotene at Woodbine, giving trainer Mark Casse his meet-leading 10th stakes winner.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – It was just another weekend at the office for trainer Mark Casse.

On Saturday, Casse sent out his 90th winner in Saturday’s 10th and final race to establish a new record for a Woodbine meeting, breaking the late Frank Passero’s mark set in 1995.

On Sunday, Casse added another three wins, capped by Indian Pond’s score in the $150,800 Carotene. It was his meet-leading 10th stakes winner.

“It’s been a crazy year,” Casse said. “Things have just kind of come together.”

Indian Pond’s victory in the Carotene for owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk was a case in point.

The Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, was taken off the turf. While Indian Pond’s best previous efforts had been on the grass, she took the switch in stride en route to a two-length victory.

Patrick Husbands, riding his 63rd winner of the meeting for Casse, was aboard the daughter of Speightstown, whose offspring generally have preferred sprinting.

“She’d trained really well on Polytrack,” Casse said. “I’d been more concerned about running her on soft turf; that would have been more like running her a mile and a quarter.”

“But she’s not really like any other Speightstown I’ve had. She just doesn’t have any speed.

“She’s really classy. She only goes when you ask her to go.”

Golden History eyeing Golden Rod

Casse has a bevy of beautiful 2-year-old fillies for owner John Oxley, with Northern Passion, who earned a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf with her victory here in the Natalma, currently standing at the head of the class.

The latest Oxley unveiling came here Sunday when Golden History, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, came from off the pace to score convincingly under jockey Luis Contreras in a seven-furlong maiden race.

“We like her a lot,” Casse said. “If I have a 2-year-old filly that could give Northern Passion a run for her money it could be this one.

“I thought at one time she was a Breeders’ Cup horse, but I got a bit behind the eight ball with her.

“I may try to run her once more here and then run her in the Golden Rod at Churchill Downs.

The Golden Rod, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies that offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $150,000, is scheduled for Nov. 26.

City Wolf keeps on rolling in stakes

City Wolf, making his stakes debut for Stronach Stable and trainer Reade Baker, stole the show here in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Durham Cup.

After going winless in his first four career starts, the 4-year-old City Wolf joined Baker at Palm Meadows last December and finished a distant eighth when returning from a layoff of almost a year in a maiden sprint at Gulfstream.

The story has been much different at Woodbine, however, as City Wolf had been 3 for 3 while progressing through his maiden to his second allowance condition. He had little difficulty in continuing his roll in the 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup under regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson.

“I’d entered him in a three-other-than for Friday, but they needed one more horse to make it go,” Baker said.

“I’m glad it didn’t. I looked at the list and thought I could beat all these guys.”

Baker, who had studied City Wolf’s previous races, knew that the colt had developed an unfortunate habit.

“He used to run with his head sideways,” Baker said. “He never took hold of the bit.

“But his first races had been pretty darned impressive. You knew he had some talent.”

Baker and Wilson, working with City Wolf, obviously have found the solution to that early problem.

“It’s just been a matter of getting his head straightened out,” said Baker, in a comment that could be interpreted both literally and figuratively.

The Nov. 12 Autumn Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up that offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $150,000, is next on City Wolf’s agenda.

Beyond that, Baker can envision grander plans.

“He’s got enough pedigree to do anything,” Baker said.

City Wolf is a son of Giant’s Causeway and is out of Baby Zip, whose produce have included Ghostzapper and City Zip.

Kitty’s Got Class to Franfreluche

Kitty’s Got Class, purchased for just $2,500 at the open yearling sale here, became stakes winner and boosted her earnings to $108,540 with her victory in last Saturday’s $125,000 Victorian Queen.

In her only previous start, which came in Ontario-sired maiden company, Kitty’s Got Class had served notice with an 8 1/4-length romp.

And despite drawing the one hole for the second straight time in the six-furlong Victorian Queen, Kitty’s Got Class dominated her Ontario-sired rivals with a front-running six-length score under new rider Eurico Rosa da Silva.

“She’s a lovely little filly,” said Mike DePaulo, who trains Kitty’s Got Class for owners Denny Andrews and Mike Colterjohn. “She’s always been pretty keen.”

Kitty’s Got Class will now point to the $150,000 Fanfreluche, a six-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 23.

“Then there’s an Ontario-sired race for her going long, if we decide to try that,” said DePaulo, with reference to the $125,000 South Ocean, a 1 1/16-mile race here Nov. 9.

Surface switch boosts Ariana D

The stars were in alignment for Ariana D here last Saturday as the $101,000 Avowal was taken off the turf and that enabled her to compete over her favorite distance and surface.

“I was extremely happy,” said Laurie Silvera, who trains Ariana D for Bill Thompson’s Maple Lane Farm. “But she was going to run regardless; I have a feeling she’ll run as well on the turf.”

Silvera can put that thought on hold for a future occasion as Ariana D scored her third win in four tries over seven furlongs of Polytrack and earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

“That would have to be her best race for me,” Silvera said. “She laid them waste, didn’t she?

“She’s a genuine filly.”

The next major target for Ariana D is the Nov. 20 Bessarabian, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares that offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000.

Ariana D, a homebred 5-year-old, won last fall’s Bessarabian and, after picking up $60,000 for Avowal score, now has now $569,780 through her 24-start career.