Steve Andersen, DRF
The turf stakes winners Dynamic Sky and Patriotricandproud are candidates for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, trainer Mark Casse said.
Dynamic Sky, a 5-year-old horse owned by John Oxley, finished fifth in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 7. Dynamic Sky won the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct last November. The Big Cap would be Dynamic Sky’s first start on dirt since a fourth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in 2013. Saturday, Dynamic Sky worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Santa Anita.
Patrioticandproud, a 6-year-old gelding, owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber, was seventh in the San Marcos. He was third in the Grade 2 Las Vegas Marathon at 1 3/4 miles on dirt here on Oct. 31.
Saturday, Patrioticandproud worked five furlongs in 1:00.
The Big Cap field is led by Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old male of 2013 who has won two stakes at the current Santa Anita winter-spring meeting – the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Dec. 26 and the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 7.
Other candidates are Bronzo, Catch a Flight, Cool Samurai, Crimson Giant, Hard Aces, and Sr. Quisqueyano.
Casse said that Conquest Two Step, the winner of the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes at six furlongs on Jan. 31 will run in the $250,000 San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs on March. 7. Discussions were held in February about sending Conquest Two Step to Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen sprint on March 28, but Casse said an American-campaign is preferred.
Alex Campbell, DRF
Trainer Mark Casse could win his seventh Sovereign Award for outstanding trainer, and a number of horses from his stable could win divisional titles, as the Jockey Club of Canada released the finalists for the 40th Sovereign Awards on Tuesday.
The Casse contingent is led by Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate winner Lexie Lou, a finalist in the 3-year-old female and turf female divisions who also will garner plenty of consideration for Canadian Horse of the Year. The three finalists for Canadian Horse of the Year will be revealed during the Sovereign Awards ceremony at Woodbine on April 10.
Patrick Husbands, who was aboard Lexie Lou in the Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate, will look to win his first Sovereign Award since 2009 and is joined by Luis Contreras, Eurico Da Silva, and Rico Walcott in the outstanding jockey division.The Casse contingent is led by Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate winner Lexie Lou, a finalist in the 3-year-old female and turf female divisions who also will garner plenty of consideration for Canadian Horse of the Year. The three finalists for Canadian Horse of the Year will be revealed during the Sovereign Awards ceremony at Woodbine on April 10.
In all, 10 horses trained by Casse were named finalists in their respective divisions. Joining Lexie Lou are Conquest Harlanate (2-year-old female), Mississippi Delta (2-year-old female), Conquest Tsunami (2-year-old male), Conquest Typhoon (2-year-old male), Florida Won (3-year-old male), Hillaby (older female, female sprinter), Spring in the Air (older female, female sprinter), Sky Captain (older male), and Dynamic Sky (turf male).
Coltimus Prime and Ami’s Holiday, the other two Canadian classic winners in 2014, will do battle again in the 3-year-old male division, but Heart to Heart made a case for divisional honors with a strong finish to the season that saw him win three straight stakes on turf, including a pair of Grade 3 victories at Churchill Downs in the Jefferson Cup and Commonwealth Turf stakes.
Calgary Cat, claimed for $25,000 by trainer Kevin Attard and owners Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman in November 2013, led all horses with five wins at Woodbine in 2014, two of which came in graded stakes. He is a finalist in the male sprinter division, along with Excaper, Phil’s Dream, and Sharp Sensation.
Calgary Cat (male sprinter, older male), Excaper (turf male, male sprinter), and Lexie Lou are among seven horses to be named a finalist in two separate divisions. Others include HIllaby, Spring in the Air, Executive Allure (female sprinter, turf female), and Heart to Heart (3-year-old male, turf male).
To be eligible for a Sovereign Award in each divisional category, horses ages 3 and up must have raced in Canada at least three times in 2014, and 2-year-olds must have raced in Canada at least twice.
Brooklynsway, Conquest Harlanate, London Tower, Mississippi Delta
Conquest Tsunami, Conquest Typhoon, Decision Day, Phil’s Cocktail
Executive Allure, Lexie Lou, Paladin Bay, Sweater Weather
Ami’s Holiday, Coltimus Prime, Florida Won, Heart to Heart
Hillaby, Silent Star, Spring in the Air, Strut the Course
Calgary Cat, Lukes Alley, Sharp Sensation, Sky Captain
Deceptive Vision, Executive Allure, Lexie Lou, Royal Fury
Dynamic Sky, Excaper, Heart to Heart, Sharp Sensation
Cactus Kris, Executive Allure, Hillaby, Spring in the Air
Calgary Cat, Excaper, Phil’s Dream, Sharp Sensation
Cruising Kris, Eye of the Sphinx, Star Guest, Uproar
Adena Springs, Paradox Farm Inc., Sam-Son Farm, William Sorokolit
Gary Barber, Conquest Stables LLC, John Oxley, Sam-Son Farm
Josie Carroll, Mark Casse, Brian Lynch, Greg Tracy
Outstanding apprentice jockey
Damario Bynoe, Sheena Ryan, Erika Smilovsky, Nick Webb
Luis Contreras, Eurico Da Silva, Patrick Husbands, Rico Walcott