Saturday, May 14, 2016

Trainer Mark Casse Seeks Career Win Number 2,000

Trainer Mark Casse gained the 1,999th North American victory of his career on Friday, with Son of Oahu in the fourth race at Belmont Park.

Casse has 13 horses entered today, at four tracks, and it would take an incredible day of bad racing luck for  him not to gain his 2,000th win.

Eight of those horses are  entered at Gulfstream Park, where Casse’s assistant trainer Jamie Begg is directing operations.

Casse has three horses entered today at Woodbine in Etobicoke, Ont.  He has single entrants at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and at Belmont in Elmont, N.Y,

Gulfstream has an 11-race card with first post of 1:15 p.m.

Casse’s first entrant of the day is Reimburse, in the second at Gulfstream with scheduled post of 1:46 p.m.

It is a $50,000 claiming race at one mile on turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, with a $30,000 purse.
Reimburse is  the 5-2 morning line favorite in the eight-horse field. 

She has one win in six career starts.  In her last race, on April 17 at Gulfstream, she finished third in a $50,000 claiming race at 7 ½ furlongs on turf. Tyler Gaffalione has the return mount.

Today’s field also has Tizjet, who finished a nose ahead of Reimburse on April 17. Edgard Zayas has the return mount for trainer Juan Rodriguez.

Casse has two horses entered in the fifth race, which has today’s most interesting story line at Gulfstream.
It is a $62,500 optional claimer at one mile on turf for 3-year-olds and up. The purse  is $44,000.

One Casse runner is Conquest Pacemaker, owned by his long-time client Conquest Stables.

The other is Jacks or Better Farm’s Best Plan Yet, who will be making his first start for Casse.

Stan Gold, Best Plan Yet’s previous trainer, will send out My Point Exactly.  The  race will be that horse’s first for Gold.

Through early last month Jacks or Better used Gold as its exclusive trainer in Florida, with considerable success especially in 2-YO races. Last month, for reasons not fully disclosed publicly, Jacks or Better owner Fred Brei moved all of his approximately 20 horses to Casse.

Since then Gold has taken on horses from several other owners, including former partners of the recently retired trainer Bill Kaplan. My Point Exactly is owned by a partnership headed by Pinnacle Racing Stables and was previously trained by Kaplan.

Neither My Point Exactly nor Best Plan Yet are in for the tag.

Both are dropping from stakes races and should be among the favorites along with Quiet Force, who is trained by Peter Walder.

Casse is a seven-time winner of the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top trainer.

Assisted by his son Norman Casse and  by Begg, Casse has bases at Woodbine and at Gulfstream and also races regularly at the  major New York tracks and in graded stakes around the United States.
--Jim Freer

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