11,504 1,831 1,673 1,508 $95,553,462 16 % 45 %
2015 to May 25
299 50 38 39 $3,416.770 17 % 45 %

Mark Casse, who won the 2014 Queen’s Plate with Lexie Lou, will send out Conquest Boogaloo and Oakton in Sunday's $1-million classic as he looks to defend his title in the 'Gallop for the Guineas.'


A third Casse trainee, Conquest Curlinate, was expected to be among the favourites for the 1 1/4-mile test, but was withdrawn following a morning training accident.


"He's getting around fine, it's just unfortunate," said Casse of Conquest Curlinate. "He cracked the bottom of his sesamoid. We've already taken phone calls about him becoming a stallion prospect.”


The Curlin grey graduated in impressive fashion at Oaklawn Park in February and later posted a trio of excellent place efforts when defeated just a nose, in the Grade 3 Illinois Derby to Whiskey Ticket; missing by a length to Madefromlucky in the Grade 2 Peter Pan; and again in the Plate Trial, just three-quarters of a length behind Queen's Plate favourite Danish Dynaformer.


"I think he'd be a great stallion in Ontario. He's a Curlin, a beautiful horse and raced against some of the best three-year-olds on the continent," said Casse of the Conquest Stables charge. "It's disappointing, but it's also a beginning."


Conquest Boogaloo, also owned by Conquest Stables, finished a closing third in the Plate Trial after encountering traffic trouble when veering to avoid the ill-fated Danzig Moon.


"'Boogaloo' is doing great. I was really pleased with him this week," said Casse.


Conquest Boogaloo breezed in company with Field of Courage on June 28, covering five furlongs in 1:01.40. The rail-breezing Field of Courage appeared to get the better of the workout, but Casse was pleased with the effort of both horses.


"Anytime you work two horses together, if one horse has speed, they have a big advantage going five-eighths of a mile," explained Casse. "For 'Boogaloo' to be competitive, he needs the pace scenario to set up for him. With 'Boogaloo', all winter long, I don't know that he ever won a work."


Field of Courage breezed five furlongs over Woodbine's dirt training track this morning in a swift 1:00 flat, best of 17 efforts at the distance.


"I was really impressed. He's going to the Prince of Wales Stakes," said Casse.


Flying under the radar this week is the other Casse charge, Oakton.  The Macho Uno grey, to be ridden by Tyler Pizarro for owners Bill and Vicki Poston Racing Inc., will leave from post two. Last time out, the maiden winner finished a good fourth in a 1 1/8-mile allowance route while tackling older company.


"I think Oakton is going to surprise everybody. His last race is much better than it looks," said Casse of the prominent colt. "He's not there just to set a pace. He's there to win. His best race was on the lead though, so he'll be up there."

Force Upsets New York Derby
Clair Novak, The Bloodhorse
Force proved one to be reckoned with in the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack July 3, upsetting at odds of 13-1 to give trainer Mark Casse his second win in the New York Derby.
John Oxley's 3-year-old son of Flatter took over from 3-5 favorite Ostrolenka and then ran down second choice Good Luck Gus—the 1-2 finishers from the May 25 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park—finishing with a flourish, two lengths ahead of fellow closer Battle of Evermore.
Jockey John Davlia Jr. found a good stalking trip with the Casse trainee in a group of seven New York-bred sophomores, eventually shifting over to the rail to sit fourth behind Ostrolenka, while that one led the way through an opening quarter in :23.81 and a half in :47.36. Ostrolenka inherited the lead when Breakin the Fever went extremely rank on the front end early on, swinging wide in the first turn and carrying out Damage Control with him.
Ostrolenka carried on through three-quarters in 1:12.28, but Good Luck Gus ranged up with a four-wide move to take over turning for home. Davila swung his mount out into the center of the track and set down for the drive, and Force responded to clock a 1:38.79 mile before finishing the 1 1/8-mile test in 1:45.49 on a fast track.
Force, who broke his maiden Feb. 28 going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park, came off a third-place finish May 30 in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill Downs won by 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner-up Commanding Curve.
The winner returned $29.40, $11.80, and $12.80. Battle of Evermore brought $9 and $8.90, while third-place finisher Intelligence checked in at odds of 63-1 to pay $25.80 and round out a $2 trifecta worth $3,253. Good Luck Gus, Ostrolenka, Damage Control, and Breakin the Fever completed the order of finish.
Force was bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and JMJ Racing, out of the Silver Deputy mare Forever Valentine, and sold to Oxley for $130,000 when selected by Casse at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s 2014 spring sale of 2-year-olds in training from the Sequel Bloodstock consignment. The New York Derby was his first stakes score and second win from eight starts. Casse won the New York Derby in 2005 with Accountforthegold.