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Coastline Looks to Prove Himself in Southwest

Trainer Mark Casse
Photo: Woodbine Entertainment

Coastline could fare no better than third in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes here last month, but trainer Mark Casse thinks John Oxley’s colt deserves another chance to prove himself in Monday’s $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), especially since there are Kentucky Derby qualifying points to be earned along with the purse money. The Road to the Kentucky Derby cuts through Hot Springs on Monday, with 10-4-2-1 points to be awarded to the top four horses under the wire. Coastline already has 2 points, earned in the Smarty Jones.

 

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed that he got a little tired (in the Smarty Jones), but I wasn’t surprised,” said Casse, who gave the gray/roan son of Champion Sprinter Speightstown a respite after he almost fell out of the gate and wound up eighth when making his graded stakes debut in the Delta Downs Jackpot last November. “I may have rushed him back a little too quickly. But I’m happy with where we are and we got a race over the track so that should be to our advantage.”

 

The debacle at Delta Downs was Coastline’s only out of the money finish in five starts, and it was also his only effort traveling farther than one-mile. The Southwest (G3), the first of three graded stakes for 3-year-olds culminating with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on closing day, was changed last year from one mile to 1 1/16 miles. The question that will need to be answered Monday is can Coastline get the distance?

 

“It’s hard to say,” said Casse. “He’s a horse we shipped out (from Florida) and he only had one little breeze over the track before he ran. He definitely got tired. We’re hoping it was just a matter of him needing a race and not a matter of him not wanting to go that far.”

 

Although Coastline was sired by a sprinter, his dam is Culinary, who won two stakes Southwest distance during her career. Even better, Coastline, a $190,000 purchase from the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale, doesn’t have a sprinter’s conformation.

 

“This horse is not the typical Speightstown, he’s a little longer,” said Casse, who also trained another son of Speightown, Delegation, who holds the track record at Woodbine of 1 ¼ miles. “If you’re going to look at a Speightstown that could get a route of ground, he’s one that would. “He’s very efficient in the way he moves and he’s built a lot longer and rangier. A lot of Speightstowns are a little shorter. He’s not that way. Maybe he takes after his mom.”

 

“He worked really good the other day,” continued Casse, who was in town February 5 to watch the colt breeze 5f in 1:03.20 in the mud. “The way he won the Street Sense at Churchill (October 27), it looked that day like he won’t have a problem running a route of ground. We know he likes Churchill and that’s a plus (for the Derby). I hope he likes Hot Springs as well.”

 

The $300,000 Southwest Stakes drew a field of 12 Friday. The complete field in post position order with riders and morning line odds: Tapiture, Ricardo Santana Jr.; Coastline, Shaun Bridgmohan; Tanzanite Cat, Corey Nakatani; Louies Flower, Luis Quinonez; Kendall’s Boy, Leandro Goncalves; Paganol, Norberto Arroyo Jr.; Walt, Ken Tohill; Strong Mandate, Joel Rosario; Ride On Curlin, Calvin Borel; Son of Dixie, Cliff Berry; Fire Starter, Robby Albarado, and Bourbonize, Ramon Vazquez.

 

 

 

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