Hoping to Improve on 2016 KD Record
Mark Casse will enter a quantiy of horses at the 2017 Kentucky Downs meet and hope to improve on the single win he had in 2016.
A winner of 235 victories in 2016, an 18 percent rate, he won five races at the Franklin, Ky. track in 2015.
“The year before we had a tremendous meet. Then last year we struggled,” he said, “So I don’t really know. Part of it depends on weather, I think.
“We kid all the time. We had a filly that should have won last time at Saratoga. She had a really troubled trip. I said, ‘Perfect; it saved her condition’. I have horses all over North America, and the owners all want me to take them to Kentucky Downs.”
Casse plans to enter Netas in the seven-furlong Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Juvenile. The colt has raced only once, finishing a close third with a terrible trip in an Aug. 17 maiden race at Gulfstream Park. Plan B, if Netas doesn't get into the Juvenile, is one of Kentucky Downs’ maiden races worth $130,000 for Kentucky-bred horses.
Netas is owned by Robert Masterson, who campaigned Casse’s two-time champion Tepin.
Casse is entering two in the in Saturday’s Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies -- Moonlight Rain, who won against colts in a Woodbine maiden race, and Bridaled Temper, a rallying second in her debut on grass at Saratoga.
Mississippi Delta, Casse’s lone winner last year, will try to repeat in the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint at 6 1/2 furlongs on Sept. 9. She has been working superbly at Churchill Downs.
Hollow Point, beaten a half-length in a Saratoga allowance in his first start on grass, will go in either the Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby on Sept. 10 or the Franklin-Simpson on closing day, Sept. 14.
Perfect Partner, third in Saratoga’s restricted Curlin Stakes, would make his first start on turf in the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Grounds Derby.
Summer Luck, who was a candidate for the Kentucky Oaks, looks like she’ll appreciate longer distances and will run in the Dueling Grounds Oaks, also Sept. 10.
One horse who won’t run at Kentucky Downs is Dream Dancing. She was penciled in for the Dueling Grounds Oaks until she went out to California and won the Grade I Del Mar Oaks. Now she’ll instead target Keeneland’s Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, Casse said.
Edited Kentucky Downs release
Mississippi Delta photo by Reed Palmer Photography