Meeting: FINANCIAL RECOVERY ran a strong race in the Fury Stakes to finish 2nd to Enstone on her way to the Woodbine Oaks. Here jockey Rafael Hernandez reports back to the crowd including trainer Catherine Day Phillips about his trip. – WILL WONG PHOTO














Casse stable 10 for 27 after 8 racing days


Well prepared for her first race since November, ENSTONE charged to a strong win in the Fury Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine, a first step to the June 11 Woodbine Oaks. The bay filly by Tiznow – La Suena by Storm Cat raced from second spot on the outside of pacesetter Goldrush Glory, who took the field through opening splits of of :23.87 and :47.27. As the field turned for home, Husbands gave Enstone the cue and the pair surged to the lead, drawing away impressively for a comfortable 2 ¾-length triumph. Financial Recovery took second by a neck over another closer, Mythical Mission. Enstone covered seven panels in 1:23.31.

Her Beyer Figure was 76.

Patrick Husbands rode for the sizzling hot Mark Casse stable.

Enstone is owned by East West Stables which is made up of Tina Casse, Sherry McMartin and Kathy Bonnycastle. No owners were present in the winner’s circle  with assistants Kathryn Sullivan and David Adams.

Breeder Bill Graham bought the filly’s dam for $240,000 in foal to Distorted Humor in 2010 and has sold many high priced offerings from the mare.

However, Enstone could not be sold for $90,000 or $72,000 as a yearling.

The Fury had most of the leading contenders for the Oaks but stamina as well as speed was needed and many did not have the quickness of the winner.

Both FINANCIAL RECOVERY, owned by Anderson Farms Ontario and Narola LLC and Sam-Son Farms’ MYTHICAL MISSION closed very well and galloped out strongly. The former came from far back and wide behind the slowish early pace while the latter was a bit delayed behind a wall of horses. Ghostly Presence was hardd ridden most of the race but finished okay and she will be better at 2 turns as will Ellen Vannin, who chased wide off the turn and may have needed the race.

The Fury Stakes was the 3rd straight win on the day for the Casse stable which has already won a stunning 10 of 27 starts.

Sunday wrap:

Trainer Preston Ferris won his first race of the season when BIT’S LOVER BOY led all the way through 5 1/2 furlongs to win his maiden for $10,000 claiming in Sunday’s first race. Tricia Greer owns and bred the 3yo by One Way Love. The early race favourite Grand Poobah was scratched.

The posted fractions and time of the first race, as with many races to begin the season, have been incorrect but are reported correctly on Equibase.

Race 2- MISTER NADA was up in time under Skye Chernetz to win a $10,000 claiming race at  furlongs. The Philanthropist dark bay rode the rail in last early in the race, his 2nd start of the year before rallying to catch Jimmies Truck for his 3rd career win in 21 races. Dave Cotey trains for Linmac Farms.

Race 3- Lorenzo Robinson’s EXILE TRAIN was a surprise winner of the maiden $8,000 claiming race, rallying to beat a modest group at 6 1/2 furlongs in his season debut. The son of Exhi had not been close in any of his 7 races last year.

Jeff Alderson rode his first winner of the meeting.

Race 4- HEY BEAR came off a troubled trip in his local return to win this $8,000 claiming race for Colebrook Farms and trainer Bill Tharrenos. Omar Moreno was the winning rider.

Race 5- First win of the season for trainer Kevin Attard who sent out his son’s LAND HO to win for $20,000, non-winners of 2. The winner is a Lonhro gelding  owned by Joshua Attard.

Race 6- Old timers Constantino and San Nicola Thunder were both claimed for $40,000 from this 6 furlong race than went in 1:09.43 – an 89 Beyer Figure.

Neither won but closed well behind FIELD OF COURAGE, owned by John Oxley. Jerome Lermyte was riding his 3rd winner already at the meeting.

The winner had not raced June and only made 2 starts in 2016 but he was 3rd in the 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes.

Race 7 – the 3rd straight for the Casse stable was TOUGH EQUATIONS’ rallying win in this allowance/optional claiming event for 3-year-olds. Gary arber and St Elias Stable owner this Algorithms gelding who was coming off a maiden win at Fair Grounds for $25,000 claiming.

Race 9 An amazing stretch rally by LILLY’S GOLDIE (Milwaukee Brew) got her a 5th career win in only 12 starts. RMC Stables bred and own the 6yo who was ridden as usual by Emma-Jayne Wilson.  Nick Gonzalez was sending out his 5th winner of the meeting.

Race 10 – a large maiden field was won by Bruce Lunsford’s COURTLY MANNER, who had been 8th in his season debut against opener maidens and was dipping into an optional claiming race/Ont sired event. The Court Vision gelding rallied from far back under Rafael Hernandez in this surprise win. Barbara Minshall trains the winner.

Among Saturday’s winners at Woodbine was the 2-year-old champion in Canada from 2 years ago, RIKER, who was so happy to be back at Woodbine and in a sprint he won a 7 furlong race under Jesse Campbell in 1:21, good for a 92 Beyer Figure. Owned by Tucci Stables and Team Valor, the 4yo colt was back in the Nick Gonzalez barn after 4 outings in 2016 in which he was well beaten. Norm Files photo















A meet and greet reception at Woodbine for owners and trainers with Woodbine’s newest vice president of racing, Jonathan Zammit, also included some news about races offered.

There will be 40 more turf races scheduled for this summer, adding one to each racing day (Wed, Fri Sat. and Sun.) and they will included $16,000 claimers and $12,500 starter allowance horses.

Woodbine is also going to offer open $5,000 claimers, and $6,250 conditioned claimers on the main Tapeta track. The bottom maiden level remains at $8,000.

Steve Lym, director of racing also emphasized that if horsepeople are stabled at Woodbine, they must race at Woodbine and avoid shipping out for races for $20,000 claiming or less.  Horsepeople will only be allowed to do that twice and after that, their connections will need permission to do so again.







Horse             Trainer    Points      Earnings Comment

1. Practical Joke        Chad Brown 74 $966,000 – by Into Mischief,  blinkers could curb this guy’s hanging tendency is a concern, he is improving fast for Chad Brown
2. Always Dreaming Todd Pletcher 100 $589,000 – Fast improving colt won Florida Derby with ease..could be any kind, by Bodemiester
3. Gunnevera             Antonio Sano 84 $1,137,800 – Dull in the Florida Derby off huge run in the Fntn of Youth – by Dialed In

4. Classic Empire Mark Casse 132 $2,093,820 – He’s brilliant, quirky, been washy this week but Champion 2-year-old of 2016 rebounded in Ark Derby, by same sire as American Pharoah (POTN)

5. McCraken Ian Wilkes 40 $385,048 – Has looked great this week;  Was unbeaten, then had minor ailment, then lost Blue Grass behind slow pace, son of Ghostzapper
Others expected to start:

6 Girvin Joe Sharp      150 $849,800 –  Battling a Quarter crack, swimming; Unbeaten on the dirt in 3 races, by Tale of Ekati, won Louisiana Derby
7. Gormley John Shirreffs 125 $884,000 – High, choppy stride on Santa Anita Derby winner
8. Irap Doug O’Neill 113 $744,000 – Won his maiden in the Blue Grass, by Tiznow
9. Irish War Cry Graham Motion 110 $672,660 Huge move forward to win Wood Memroial impressively, but 21 length drubbing B4 by Gunnevera?
10. $ Thunder Snow (IRE) Saeed bin Suroor 100 $1,621,063 – Godolphin colt – won UAE Derby…by Helmet (AUs), a sprinter/miler

11. J Boys Echo Dale Romans 63 $305,000 – Huge outing in the Gotham,followed by flat outing in the Blue Grass (behind slow pace), son of Mineshaft
12. State of Honor Mark Casse 62 $309,564 Ontario-bred won his maiden at Woodbine at 7 furlongs, has been 2nd or 3rd in5 straight stakes races since then, by To Honor and Serve
13. Tapwrit Todd Pletcher 54 $295,570 – Nice run to win Tampa Bay Derby – very slow in Blue Grass behind modest pace
14. Hence Steve Asmussen 50 $481,129 – He is a big, handsome colt who has looked great; by Street Boss, won Sunland Derby, Steve Asmussen trains..improving colt
15. (must be supp.) $$ Fast and Accurate Mike Maker 50 $320,712 – Longshot winner of Spiral in slow time, son of Hansen
16. Battle of Midway Jerry Hollendorfer 40 $224,000 – Broiled in mad pace battle in the Santa Anita Derby, son of Smart Strike
17. Patch Todd Pletcher 40 $200,000 – by Union Rags but a winner of a maiden race in 3 starts, 2nd in La. Derby
18. Untrapped Steve Asmussen 34 $210,000 – by sprinter Trappe Shot, distance is not for hi,
19. Lookin At Lee Steve Asmussen 32 $428,600 – by Lookin at Lucky and he is always closing. Luis Contreras rode him when 3rd in Ark Derby
20. Sonneteer Keith Desormeaux 30 $236,000 – maiden has a powerful stretch kick
ae 21. Royal Mo John Shirreffs 30 $213,000
ae 22. Local Hero Steve Asmussen 30 $140,000