2023 Sovereign Awards: Fev Rover named Canadian Horse of the Year

Grade 1 winner Fev Rover was crowned 2023 Canadian Horse of the Year, and her conditioner, Mark Casse, won for outstanding trainer for the 16th time during the 49th annual Sovereign Awards ceremony Thursday at the Paramount Eventspace in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge. Owned by Tracy Farmer, Fev Rover had a brilliant 2023 campaign, highlighted by victories in two Grade 1 fixtures, the E.P. Taylor and Beverly D. She received 90 points in the Horse of the Year voting, putting her well ahead of other finalists Paramount...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...