Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Casse has two for the trail

August 26, 2019 11:28am

Overshadowed a bit by the Travers Stakes (G1) and its blockbuster undercard, trainer Mark Casse is on quite a roll at Saratoga, where among his nine wins this summer are two by horses that will target 2020 Kentucky Derby points races next.

First, Enforceable, a full brother to Grade 2 winner Mohaymen, broke his maiden last Thursday at the Spa when going a rare nine furlongs against fellow juveniles. That was career start No. 4 for the son of Tapit, but his first try going a route of ground on dirt.

"It's nice when a plan goes together," Casse told the NYRA Press Office. "He's a horse that we liked form the beginning, but we always knew his game would be two turns, but I like getting experience into him. He ran okay those two times (sprinting) at Churchill, and I ran him on the grass here to get the two turn experience more than the grass.”

The gray colt ran from mid-pack, edging forward and eventually inching by for a 3/4-length victory.

I still believe he's better than what we've seen,” Casse said. “He’s got a pedigree that says he can be any kind. You haven't seen the best of him yet. He’s just catching on."

A $775,000 purchase for John Oxley, who won his Kentucky Derby with Monarchos in 2001, Enforceable will run for Derby points as well as a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile next in Keeneland’s Oct. 5 Breeders’ Futurity (G1).

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The Breeders' Futurity is under consideration for a Saturday winner from the Casse barn, too.

Live Oak Plantation homebred Tap It to Win had far less trouble breaking his maiden, running back from a second on debut to cruise in a six-furlong event on Travers day. The final time was 1:09.60 with second place 3 1/2 lengths back.

"His last work out of the gate was great,” Casse said. “It surprised me how fast he ran, but it didn't surprise me that he won.”

Tap It to Win was also doing something new Saturday, as this marked his dirt debut and notched an 86 Beyer Speed Figure. The colt went first out over Woodbine’s turf on July 21.

Casse will keep the Florida-bred, who’s out of $1.3 million mare Onepointhreekarats, on the main track for either the Breeders’ Futurity or Belmont Park’s Oct. 5 Champagne Stakes (G1), another points-paying Derby prep.

“He's a pretty good horse,” Casse said. “I think we have two options: the Champagne or get the two-turn experience in the Breeders Futurity, and that's something I'll have to discuss with Mrs. (Charlotte) Weber.”


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About the Derby Radar

Back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, Horse Racing Nation's Derby Radar seeks to identify promising maiden, allowance and even stakes winners who could target points-paying preps down the line. We'll cover the buzz horses, of course, then using a systematic approach based on past years' Derby contenders identify other talented colts moving up the ladder.

Did we miss one? Email editor Jonathan Lintner ( if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.

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