Is Enforceable Good Enough To Take This Derby Field? Casse Says We’ll Find Out

Trainer Mark Casse will saddle the big gray Enforceable in the Derby this afternoon wondering the same thing the rest of us are — is the son of Tapit good enough to face down Tiz the Law and the other standouts in this year’s field?

“I don’t know, honestly,” Casse told reporters early Friday. “We think we have a shot. Obviously we have a better shot than most because we’re in the race. I know our horse is as good as he can get. Is he good enough? I don’t know.”

Enforceable comes to the race off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Blue Grass and a fifth in the G2 Louisiana Derby. Before that though, he was second in the G2 Risen Star and the G3 Lecomte.

The interruption of racing at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck just before the running of the Louisiana Derby, provided some advantage to some of this year’s Kentucky Derby entrants, and Casse said Enforceable is one of them.

“If we’d ran the Derby first Saturday in May, he would not have run,” he said. “He was a tired horse. We took him home and it took him two months to get back on his feet.”

When Enforceable was turned out at Casse’s Ocala farm in the spring, he weighed 960 pounds. Now, he’s over 1,100 pounds on a tall and lithe frame.

Certainly some of this week’s defections have created disruption to Enforceable’s running style, which relies on there being early speed in the race. Expect to see a slight departure in Enforceable’s come-from-behind running style this afternoon, though — Casse said while he won’t be the early pace, the loss of likely early leaders combined with Enforceable’s level of condition now means he may be sharper than usual and a bit closer to the early pace. Casse is also anticipating there will be a bit of cat and mouse between Tiz the Law and Bob Baffert’s runners, as either Baffert horse could be dangerous if allowed to run away with the early lead.

In the end, like many Derby trainers, Casse said he’s just grateful to be going to the post this afternoon, even if the experience of the Derby is a little more quiet and surreal this year. The absence of the crowd also means he may not be relegated to squinting at the race on the television screens in the paddock, as per his usual habit.

“I’m just happy — there was a long time I didn’t know if we’d have a Derby, so I’m just appreciative we are,” he said. “I’ll probably get to see the race better than I’ve ever seen it…I may actually get to watch this one live.”

Thanks to the National Turfwriters and Broadcasters Association (NTWAB), which has assembled a group of pool reporters providing independent reporting to members unable to be on the Churchill Downs grounds this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The post Is Enforceable Good Enough To Take This Derby Field? Casse Says We’ll Find Out appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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