‘Amazing Feeling’: Trainer Mark Casse Reflects On Hall Of Fame Election

Trainer Mark Casse was one of seven new members elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame last week. Heading into this weekend’s racing, Casse has won 2,867 races from 17,840 starts in North America, according to Equibase.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Casse. “Training horses is all I ever wanted to do since I was a little boy. The thing about the Hall of Fame is that it’s not about being good for just one day, one year or even ten years, it means you’ve done a lot of big things. I’m very honored when I look at the names of the other trainers that I’m now in there with.”

The veteran conditioner, a perennial leading trainer at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, is also a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He has earned the Sovereign Award as Canada’s Outstanding Trainer on 11 occasions.

Casse identified Gary Barber’s War of Will, who won the 2019 Grade 1 Preakness, second leg of the Triple Crown, after enduring a troubled trip in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby as a career highlight.

“War of Will stands out. After all the turmoil in the Derby – and I’ve said all along it wasn’t about revenge – it was just special to see him show everyone how great he is,” said Casse.

He also highlighted Robert Masterson’s Tepin, who won the Eclipse Award as Champion Grass Mare in 2015-16, as a personal favorite. A winner of five Grade 1 races in North America, Tepin traveled to Ascot in June 2016 to win the Group 1 Queen Anne.

“Tepin winning at Royal Ascot also stands out,” said Casse. “Some great American horses went to Ascot and weren’t able to do what she did.”

And Casse said he will not rest on his laurels as he continues to pursue his goal of winning the Kentucky Derby, which has been moved this year to Saturday, September 5 at Churchill Downs.

“That’s the big one. That first Saturday in September,” said Casse, who has John Oxley’s Enforceable sitting 15th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 33 points.

A maiden winner at Saratoga in August, Enforceable made the grade in the Grade 3 Lecomte in January at Fair Grounds. He has since finished second in the Grade 2 Risen Star and fifth last out in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

“There’s some very nice horses out there right now and our horse has to step up his game,” said Casse. “I don’t think he would have had a shot on the first Saturday in May. I think he went over the top on us. But I’m hoping by September 5 that he will be back at the top of his game.

“If it doesn’t happen this year, maybe next year,” added Casse. “We’re blessed to have some of the biggest owners in the game and we’ll keep our fingers crossed and keep trying.”

The post ‘Amazing Feeling’: Trainer Mark Casse Reflects On Hall Of Fame Election appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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