Conquest Titan, late-running second to Cairo Prince in the $400,000
Miller Lite Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25, will make his next
start in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) on March
Trainer Mark Casse, who will saddle Coastline in today’s Southwest
Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park, said this morning that he decided to skip
Saturday’s $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2) and train up
to Gulfstream’s signature race.
“We’re going to pass on it,” Casse said. “His last race, he came out
of it good but I thought he lost a few pounds. He worked really well
last week and he trained great this morning, but we can’t make all the
dances. We’re just going to wait for the Florida Derby.”
Owned by Ernie Semersky’s Conquest Stable, Conquest Titan breezed
five furlongs in 1:00 on Feb. 8 at Palm Meadows. A five-time winner of
the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top trainer, Casse said the Birdstone
colt will work again later this week.
“He’s not a big horse, anyway,” Casse said. “He’s just kind of an
average-sized horse, and the Fountain of Youth is going to come up
tough. We’re always at a disadvantage with him going a mile and a
sixteenth, especially with a speed-favoring track. I talked with Ernie
and we just decided to wait and go straight to the Florida
Winner of the Swynford Stakes over the Polytrack at Woodbine last
August, Conquest Titan closed his 2-year-old year with a
come-from-behind victory in a one-mile Churchill Downs allowance on Nov.
30. Casse schooled Conquest Titan in the Gulfstream paddock on Feb.
“We shipped him all the way down to Gulfstream and schooled him, and
he got a little nervous and hot, and I wanted him to relax a little
bit,” Casse said. “That was probably the biggest factor. I just want him
to relax a little bit more than what he’s