Mark Casse

Trial By Fire: Tepin’s Achievements Help Prepare Casse For KY Derby Run With Classic Empire

Mark Casse has had a successful career training Thoroughbred racehorses for over 30 years, and during that time, has conditioned numerous champions and won several Sovereign Awards.

The 55-year-old Casse is wrapping up his most successful career yet, with his horses having compiled earnings of $17,540,438. The star of the Casse stable no doubt is Tepin, the 2015 Eclipse Award champion turf mare and six-time G1 winner.

Casse appears to have another potential star in his barn in the 2-year-old colt Classic Empire. The son of Pioneerof the Nile is undefeated in four starts, with victories in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and G1 Breeders’ Futurity already to his credit.

In a recent article for Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, Bob Ehalt profiles the Casse team, and how Tepin’s accomplishments have helped prepare them for a possible Kentucky Derby run with Classic Empire.

“To me, I mean this 100 percent, the Kentucky Derby is the one thing that drives me every day,” Casse told Ehalt. “I think Tepin is completely different than a Derby horse. She’s a turfer, a miler, she’s run in England, but I believe the experience with her taught us a lot about having a horse like Classic Empire.”

“There’s a lot of pressure having a horse like Tepin and there’s pressure in trying to win big races you’re supposed to win and that’s going to be the same thing with Classic Empire. So, going into his 3-year-old year, I feel we’re better prepared than we’ve ever been.”