08/11/2011 11:03AM

Woodbine: Casse's got the right guys for weekend stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Patrick Husbands, who rode Paso Doble, was recording his 14th stakes win of the meeting. Luis Contreras leads in that category with 16 stakes winners, meaning that the two riders have accounted for more than 50 percent of the 57 stakes having been run thus far at the meeting.

Casse leads all trainers at the meeting with eight stakes wins, with Husbands having ridden five and Contreras three.

And, the trainer will be looking to divide the wealth again this weekend with Contreras partnering Northern Passion in Saturday’s $150,000 Ontario Debutante and Husbands doing the honors on Venus Bay in Sunday’s $125,000 Victoriana.

The Ontario Debutante is a 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies and the Victoriana a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Northern Passion, bred in Ontario by the late Mel Lawson, was purchased for $220,000 in Ocala this March and made a winning debut for owner John Oxley here July 9. With Contreras in the irons, Northern Passion rallied from off the pace to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths in that 5 1/2-furlong race despite what Casse viewed as a less than ideal trip.

“She kind of got stopped, and came up the rail,” said Casse. “I think she’s only going to get better as she goes farther. We’re hoping for the Princess Elizabeth, later this year.

The $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies, will be run here Oct. 29.

◗ Eurico Rosa da Silva will serving a three-day suspension and will miss Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday’s cards. The stewards ruled that Da Silva came out with his mount, Bond’s Babe, in last Sunday’s second race and caused interference to Honey Crisp. Bond’s Babe finished fourth but was disqualified and placed fifth.