07/12/2011 1:35PM

Woodbine: Guest Appearing heads Casse pair


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Guest Appearing caused a stir on Queen’s Plate Day when he spooked from the drumbeats of a nearby band during the post parade, dumping jockey Tyler Pizarro.

Despite being shaken up, Pizarro remounted and rode him in a 22-1 upset score over Ontario-sired maiden special opponents.

Guest Appearing will return in Thursday’s Woodbine headliner as one of two Mark Casse-trained runners in the Ontario-sired allowance route for 3-year-olds, along with Nine Winds.

Guest Appearing, a son of Plate winner Niigon, wasn’t an impact player in three 2-year-old outings. In his May 7 season opener, he faded to fourth after dueling through quick fractions, but could manage only sixth under apprentice Betty-Jo Williams in another 1 1/16-mile maiden special three weeks later.

In the race before the June 26 Plate, Guest Appearing dueled up front on the outside after breaking from post 13. He opened up a clear lead on the far turn, and won in a time of 1:45.57 for the 1 1/16 miles, which was good for a Beyer Speed Figure of 72.

“He showed absolutely nothing at 2,” Casse recalled. “When we took him to Florida over the winter, he changed. I actually thought he would win first time out this year. The second time, I had Betty-Jo try to rate him, and he didn’t care for that. When he won, I told Tyler he didn’t have to be on the lead, but to be close to it. He just kept running. He had so many reasons not to win, and for him [to prevail] was quite impressive.”

Nine Winds failed to find the mark in seven starts at 2, when he was trained by Mac Benson. He graduated in his season debut in a slow seven-furlong sprint, and finished eighth when he experimented on the grass most recently under Patrick Husbands.

“Nine Winds had a real troubled trip last time,” Casse said. “Patrick felt that he should have run much better.”

Husbands is back aboard Nine Winds, and Pizarro retains the mount on Guest Appearing.

One Big Gator finished far back in 15th in the Plate, which wasn’t long after he graduated with a 74 Beyer Figure under Husbands. Eurico Da Silva will ride him for trainer John Ross.

Charlie Bull is coming off an improved performance going three-quarters, but his two-turn form leaves something to be desired.