Fev Rover makes pitch for horse of year with E.P. Taylor Stakes victory

Fev Rover put herself in a good position to be named Canada’s horse of the year on Sunday. The five-year-old mare was all class in the $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine. This win — coupled with a win in the Nassau Stakes earlier this year and a win in the Beverly D. Stakes at Colonial in August — makes her the most accomplished horse eligible for a Sovereign Award. That Beverly D. Stakes win also gave her a guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare...

Veteran trainer Mark Casse sending three horses to Woodbine Mile

TORONTO — Trainer Mark Casse will be well represented in the $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile on Saturday. Casse, 15 times Canada's top thoroughbred conditioner, will have three entries in the six-horse field at Woodbine Racetrack. A win Saturday would be Casse's third and tie him with Neil Drysdale, Robert Frankel and Charles LoPresti for most Mile victories by a trainer. Casse's horses Ice Chocolat, My Sea Cottage and Lucky Score drew No. 4, 5 and 6 posts, respectively, Wednesday. Ice Chocolat is a Brazilian-bred horse while My Sea Cottage...

We’re Not Going to Have to Worry About Tradition. We’re Going to Be History.’ Q and A With Mark Casse

By Sue Finley Mark Casse may have made more starts over dirt and synthetic surfaces combined than any other trainer in history-over 5,000 starts on synthetic and 5,000 on dirt in the past 15 years alone. He estimates that he has sent horses out to gallop, breeze, or race over a synthetic surface 150,000 times in the past 10 years.  With a base at Woodbine, where they race and train over a Tapeta surface which sports one of the lowest instances of catastrophic injuries in North America,...

Paramount Prince captures 164th running of King’s Plate in Toronto

Patrick Husbands isn't one to mess with a winning formula. So, after guiding Paramount Prince to a convincing five-length, wire-to-wire win in last month's Plate Trial, the veteran jockey took the horse to the lead from the start of the $1-million King's Plate on Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. And once again the strategy paid off as Paramount Prince earned a length-and-a-half victory over stablemate Elysian Field in the first jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown. "I don't want to change anything that's fixed already," Husbands said. "If...

Elysian Field comes on late to capture $500,000 Woodbine Oaks

TORONTO — Trainer Mark Casse could have a formidable 1-2 punch in next month’s $1-million King’s Plate. Casse-trained horses won both the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks and $150,000 Plate Trial on Sunday. That puts the veteran conditioner in the enviable position of potentially having the top two favourites for the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown on Aug. 20 at Woodbine Racetrack. “Yeah, that’s kind of nice,” said Casse, a two-time Plate winner. “I don’t mind that at all.” Elysian Field won the Oaks impressively, overtaking stablemate Ticker Tape Home...

Barn Tour: Mark Casse gears up for Saratoga

Mark Casse is having a pretty typical Mark Casse kind of year. He’s at the top of the Woodbine trainer standings, with about twice as many wins and twice as much earnings as the next guys. He has had eight graded-stakes wins this year with seven horses. And on Monday, he was at a rainy Saratoga preparing for Thursday’s opening day. One wrinkle in Casse’s smooth operation has been with Wonder Wheel, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly after wins in the Grade 1 Alcibiades and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fillies. After failing...

Souper Hoity Toity Outlasts Moira in Belle Mahone

By Jim Mulvihill Souper Hoity Toity held off 2022 Canadian Horse of the Year Moira to win the June 3 Belle Mahone Stakes (G3) by a neck. The win in the CA$157,800 race completed a Woodbine afternoon stakes sweep for the legendary connections of owner Live Oak Plantation, trainer Mark Casse, and jockey Patrick Husbands, coming one race after Our Flash Drive won the CA$181,250 Royal North Stakes (G2T).  Souper Hoity Toity won four stakes at Woodbine last season but finished second in Sovereign Awards voting for champion 3-year-old female behind Moira, who...

Boppy O Unleashes Furious Rally For Jersey Derby Triumph

There wasn't much that went according to the pre-race plan for Boppy O in the $100,000 Jersey Derby Saturday at Monmouth Park – except the end result. The only graded stakes winner in the field of seven 3-year-olds staged a furious rally from midstretch on, when he was fifth, to eventually run down 3-10 favorite Talk of the Nation in the final 50 yards on the way to a one-length victory. The winning time for the mile over a firm turf course was 1:34.02. Jockey Isaac Castillo, making a delayed...

Papilio Soars to Victory in the Appalachian Stakes

With a determined rally down the stretch of Keeneland's turf course, Papilio edged Cairo Consort by a neck to secure her first stakes win April 8 in the $338,600 Appalachian Stakes (G2T). The victory brought a big smile to the face of trainer Mark Casse, who has been most impressed with the Irish-bred 3-year-old daughter of Starspangledbanner when it matters most—during her races. Casse saw potential when he watched a video of Papilio, who made her first five starts in Ireland. After the Papilio was purchased privately by her current owners after her juvenile...