Wonder Wheel is the champion 2-year-old filly of 2022.

By Frank Angst  As trainer Mark Casse watched Wonder Wheel improve as spring turned to fall, he couldn't resist sharing the encouraging progress of the 2-year-old filly—even comparing her precocity with that of 2016 champion 2-year-old male Classic Empire. "I put some pressure on myself, and sometimes I would ask myself, 'Why did I do that,'" Casse said after this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). "But I tell people the way I feel." Voting for 2-year-old filly: Wonder Wheel, 240; Hoosier Philly, 3; Meditate, 2; Julia Shining, 1.    The pressure most assuredly was off Casse...

Patience, Passion Led Horse Racing Hall of Fame Trainer Mark Casse to Stardom

January 23rd, 2023 BY J. Keeler Johnson There she was – in the lead, vying for victory in the final furlong of the historic Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in England. When Tepin gallantly crossed the finish line in front, the mare had made history as the first American-trained racehorse to win Royal Ascot’s signature meet-opening race. Sharing the glory was the trainer who made it all possible, the trainer who never made a wrong move in managing a versatile but slow-maturing racehorse until she was ready to make history on...

Casse Trio Rounding Into Form Ahead Of Queen’s Plate

By: Woodbine Communications Office Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse will saddle a trio of starters in Saturday's $1-million Queen's Plate including Telekinesis, Wonder Gadot and Neepawa. Telekinesis, the Winterbook favourite for the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, was bred by William D. Graham and purchased for $470,000 as a weanling at the 2015 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. The Ghostzapper-Intentional Cry colt's maternal grand dam is Gold Mover, a six-time graded stakes winner. Two of the last three Queen's Plate winners are offspring of Ghostzapper: Holy Helena (2017) and Shaman...

Will Classic Empire prove to be Mark Casse’s work of genius?

By: Bob Ehalt Will Classic Empire prove to be Mark Casse’s work of genius? Bringing home the champion: Mark Casse with Classic Empire and Julien Leparoux after the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November. Photo: Zoe Metz/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup A little more than a week ago, Mark Casse was among the seven nominees who failed to gain the necessary votes to enter Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. Now, on the first Saturday in May, the 56-year-old Casse will get a chance to prove the voters wrong. Casse, who...

Mark Casse, Norman Casse

The long two-block journey to the Kentucky Derby

By: Pat Forde LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The rows of small, wooden-frame houses with tiny lawns and chain-link fences on Dresden Avenue are just a block from Churchill Downs. On that narrow street you can hear the crowds, see the lights during night racing – and if the wind is blowing south, you might even smell the horse manure from the barn area. Yet they’re a million miles away from the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle. Derby dreams that percolate in the hardscrabble South End neighborhood that borders America’s most famous racetrack...

Mark Casse

Thoroughbred trainer Mark Casse is riding high

By Carlos E. Medina Ocala’s Mark Casse won the Sovereign Award for the top thoroughbred trainer in Canada for an unprecedented ninth time on Friday and a day later watched his charge, Classic Empire, become the likely Kentucky Derby favorite after a win in the Arkansas Derby. This year was Casse’s sixth straight title as top trainer. With the win, he surpassed Roger Attfield, who also has won eight Sovereign trainer awards. The Sovereign Awards are Canada’s premier thoroughbred racing and breeding awards. Casse said it never becomes commonplace to...

Casse, Castellano among 2017 Hall of Fame Finalists

Eight-time Sovereign Award winning trainer Mark Casse and four-time Eclipse Award-winning rider Javier Castellano are among five jockeys, three trainers and three racehorses that have been tabbed as finalists for the National Museum of Racing’s 2017 Hall of Fame class. Fellow finalists named in a Wednesday morning announcement include jockeys Robby Albarado, Victor Espinoza, Craig Perret and the late Garrett Gomez; trainers John Shirreffs and David Whiteley; and racehorses Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat), Goldikova (Ire) (Anabaa) and Kona Gold (Java Gold). Casse, Castellano, Albarado, Shirreffs, Gio...