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Norman Casse Prepares to Walk His Own Path

By: Alicia Wincze Hughes Son of Mark Casse will depart his father's operation, open his own stable in 2018. The white Jeep Cherokee is on one of its final runs for the morning. It rolls up to a Churchill Downs backstretch security gate, and the driver signals to the guard that he's coming through again. It winds down the side of the Longfield Avenue parking lot before coming to a stop near the stairs leading to the clubhouse boxes, where Norman Casse hops out from behind the wheel and...

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...