10,963 1,733 1,597 1,428 $88,947,592 16 % 45 %
605 105 105 80 $8,557,321 17 % 45 %

2014 Two year olds - all races
   trainer   starts  1st  2nd   3rd   total $   per start $   win % top 3 top 3 %
  Mark Casse   55  18  13  9  $1,108,578 $20,156   33%   40   73%
  Todd Pletcher   55  14  12  4 $1,044,840 $18,997   25%   30   55%
    Wesley Ward   79  15  19  9 $823,160 $10,420   19%   43   54%

Kaigun eyes rematch with Wise Dan in Shadwell Turf Mile
 Alex Campbell, DRF
After running second behind Trade Storm in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on Sept. 14, Kaigun will head to Keeneland for his next start to face Wise Dan for the third time this year in the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 4.

Kaigun already has shipped to Kentucky, said trainer Mark Casse.

Kaigun finished three-quarters of a length behind Wise Dan when second in the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile in April at Keeneland, then finished 1 1/2 lengths behind the two-time Horse of the Year when fourth in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in May. Kaigun could also face Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap winner Seek Again in the Shadwell Turf Mile.

Kaigun has earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in his last two starts, including a 102 in his victory in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes here on Aug. 10 and a 100 in his half-length defeat to Trade Storm in the Woodbine Mile.

Lexie Lou’s plans uncertain
 Alex Campbell, DRF
Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate winner Lexie Lou came up empty in the stretch of her graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes on Sept. 14, but has come out of the race without issue, according to trainer Mark Casse.

“She’s fine,” he said. “We don’t really have a good explanation. I wish she had run better, but she’s fine.”

Casse hasn’t made a decision as to whether Lexie Lou will be given the rest of the year off or continue racing this season.

“I want to see how she trains,” he said. “We’ll see.”

Casse juveniles to get two-turn preps ahead of Breeders’ Cup
 Alex Campbell, DRF
Conquest Harlanate and Conquest Typhoon have already booked their tickets to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup with their victories in the Grade 2 Natalma and Grade 2 Summer stakes, respectively, and trainer Mark Casse said both would make one start around two turns before heading to California.

Both the Natalma and the Summer are run over one-turn miles on Woodbine’s turf course, while the Breeders’ Cup juvenile turf races will be contested around two turns at Santa Anita.

“I want to get two-turn races into them,” Casse said. “It’s one thing to win the preps. The problem is they’re one-turn miles, and it’s a different world when you run two turns.”


Conquest Tsunami to Keeneland for next start


Conquest Tsunami to Keeneland for next sta

Trainer Mark Casse said Conquest Tsunami would breeze on Monday at Churchill Downs and would be pointed to the Grade 1, $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity on dirt on Oct. 4 or the Grade 3, $250,000 Bourbon Stakes on turf on Oct. 5, both at Keeneland, with a trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup as the long-term target.

Conquest Tsunami, the morning-line favorite, was a late scratch from the Grade 2 Summer Stakes on Sept. 13. Casse said he made the decision after watching Conquest Harlanate win the Grade 2 Natalma Stakes over a turf course that was initially rated as good but downgraded to yielding.

Casse thought Conquest Tsunami “struggled” last month in his neck win in an allowance race, which came on a turf course rated good.

“When I saw how slow they ran in the Natalma, it looked like [the turf course] had some give in it,” he said. “I was concerned with Tsunami running on that turf. He’s a big horse.”

Casse called both owner Ernie Semersky of Conquest Stables and jockey Corey Nakatani shortly after the Natalma with his decision.

“I said to Corey, ‘I don’t think it makes sense to run this horse, and I think I’m going to scratch him,’ ” Casse said. “He agreed with me and said [the turf] was a little softer than he thought it would be.”

Horse racing’s born winner
John Snobelen, Toronto Sun
When I first met Mark Casse I thought things might not go well.
Casse is on top of the thoroughbred horse world.
He has won multiple Sovereign awards as Ontario’s leading trainer.
I knew his reputation as a good horseman and a great ambassador of the sport.
So what could go wrong with our meeting? Lots.
That meeting happened two years ago.
It wasn’t a great time for horse racing in Ontario.
The province had just terminated the Slots At Racetracks Program (SARP).
As a result of the cancellation of SARP, the Woodbine Entertainment Group announced that the 153rd running of the Queen’s Plate in 2012 might be the last.
Horse racing in Ontario would be over.
The government asked three former ministers, John Wilkinson, Elmer Buchanan and myself, to meet with the industry and provide some advice.
We met with a lot of people. Most of them were not particularly happy.
At some point, Mark Casse sat down before us.
Mark is an American.
Many of his clients are wealthy Americans.
It seemed to me his presentation might be an embodiment of everything the critics of racing claim.
After all, why should Ontario taxpayers pay to support a hobby for rich Americans?
Turned out I was wrong.
Mark started his presentation by saying we shouldn’t worry about his future.
People at the top of the racing world can ply their trade at lots of tracks.
He went on to say his clients would be fine if horse racing ended in Ontario. Horses can move.
He asked us to focus our attention on the people who would suffer.
He talked about the exercise riders, hot walkers and grooms who would be out of a job if racing ended.
These are folks who can’t simply follow the horses.
Their livelihood depends on Ontario horse racing.
Mark didn’t talk about purses and races.
He spoke about the skill, dedication and passion of all the people who make a backstretch work.
He called them a family.
My colleagues and I went away from that meeting impressed with the concern the top folks in racing have for the people who love horses, but will never be in a win photo.
The province found a way to support the racing industry post-SARP. It wasn’t easy.
It took long, hard work from a lot of people in the horse racing industry and the unwavering support of Premier Kathleen Wynne, but the industry is now moving forward on a better footing.
Last Sunday, Mark was, once again, saddling his best three-year-olds to take a shot at winning the 155th running of the Queens Plate.
Despite his impressive record in other stakes races, the 50 Guineas that come with Canada’s greatest race have eluded him. Until this year.
Back in the dark days of 2012 not a lot of people were willing to gamble on the future of Ontario bred racehorses.
Ontario owner/trainer John Ross took a chance and bought a good-looking, Ontario bred filly from the yearling sale for a mere $5,500.
He named her after his granddaughter, Lexie Lou.
Turned out it was a good investment.
Lexie Lou won for John Ross as a two-year-old and last Sunday she thrilled thousands at Woodbine as she won again for her new owner, Gary Barber and trainer – you guessed it — Mark Casse.
Some might say this was Mark Casse’s greatest achievement.
But I believe his best performance was in that boardroom two years ago.