It was a busy Monday morning for trainer Mark Casse as he sent out no fewer than three probable Breeders’ Cup starters to breeze beneath the Twin Spires for owner John Oxley.
Photo: Breeders' Cup Limited
The first horse to breeze for Casse was Prospective,
a $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling purchase who captured the
Grade III Grey over the Polytrack at Woodbine. The 2-year-old son of
Malibu Moon worked five furlongs in 1:02.
Starting four lengths behind his workmate Saturday Classic, Prospective recorded fractions of :13.60, :26.80, :38.60 and crossed the wire five lengths in front under Luis Contreras, who was aboard for the Grey triumph. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.
“He worked about as well as a horse can work,” Casse said. “When we
brought him here (to Churchill Downs) we thought there was only a
10-percent chance we would enter him in the (Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup)
Juvenile (GI), but he worked himself into the race. He reminded us a lot
of Pool Play.”
The Casse-trained Pool Play won the Stephen Foster Presented by Abu
Dhabi (GI) in his first start on dirt. Prospective debuted on turf and
his next two starts have been on Polytrack.
Stepping on to the track shortly after the renovation break was Natalma (GIII) winner Northern Passion. Starting two lengths behind workmate Delightful Magic, a 2-year-old daughter of Mineshaft who only lost by a length to Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) hopeful My Miss Aurelia in her career debut, Northern Passion completed the work even with her stablemate in 1:02 under Contreras.
“We’re really happy with the work,” Casse said.
Northern Passion is likely to be cross-entered in the Juvenile Fillies and the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
“If I had to make the decision right now, I would say we are leaning
toward the (Juvenile Fillies) turf,” Casse said. “She worked very well
over the dirt this morning, but we already know she handles the turf
The last Oxley-Casse duo to hit the Churchill Downs track was Spirited Miss and Sky High Lady.
Both horses are coming out of performances in the Mazarine on the
Polytrack at Woodbine. Spirited Miss finished second by a head and Sky
High Lady battled a troubled trip to finish fourth.
Under Contreras, Spirited Miss started three lengths behind Sky High Lady, guided by Shaun Bridgmohan,
and the two fillies crossed the wire together. Spirited Miss was
credited with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.80 and Sky High Lady was
clocked in 1:02.40.
“Both horses worked well,” Casse said. “We are likely to cross-enter
Spirited Miss in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Juvenile Fillies, but
we’re leaning toward running her on the dirt. Most likely we wouldn’t
enter her and Northern Passion in the same race.”
Sky High Lady, who has yet to break her maiden, might have also
worked herself into the Breeders’ Cup like her stablemate Prospective.
“That was a really nice work and I might pre-enter her in the Juvenile Fillies after watching her this morning,” Casse said.