Norm Casse ‘Hoping For A Little Bit Of Luck’ With Pretty Birdie In Opening Day Schuylerville

Trainer Norm Casse said he is hoping to start the Saratoga Race Course summer meet on a high note when he sends out Pretty Birdie on Saratoga’s Opening Day this Thursday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville.

Owned by Marylou Whitney Stables, the homebred juvenile daughter of Bird Song won at first asking on June 18 at Churchill Downs, leading at every point of call and extended her advantage throughout the five-furlong journey to win by 3 3/4 lengths.

Casse said he noticed something special in Pretty Birdie since she arrived at his barn from Ocala, where she was broken by Randy Bradshaw.

“We’ve always been high on her,” Casse said. “She came up from Randy Bradshaw with other Whitney babies. It was pretty obvious from day one that she was the most precocious. She’s professional, fast, loves to run and just has all the kind of qualities you look for in a racehorse. So, she’s earned her spot in this race. We’re just hoping for a little bit of luck.”

Despite displaying frontrunning tactics on debut, Casse said Pretty Birdie would likely track the pace under Luis Saez, given the amount of speed in the field of nine juvenile fillies.

“It seems like there’s a ton of speed in there,” Casse said. “I just hope we break sharply from the rail and forwardly placed in the pace. At some point hopefully Luis can find a way out and we can make our run.”

Casse learned his craft as an assistant from his father, Hall of Famer Mark Casse. He now seeks his first graded stakes triumph at the Spa since going out on his own in 2018, and his second graded stakes victory overall of his career. In 2019, he saddled Hard Legacy – also owned by Marylou Whitney Stables – to a score in the Grade 3 Regret at Churchill Downs.

“To win the Schuylerville on opening day at Saratoga, with everything going back to normal after the pandemic, would be amazing,” Casse said. “Obviously, it’s a privilege to be associated with the Whitneys and John [Hendrickson], knowing what they mean to the town of Saratoga.”

Casse, who has 16 stalls at the Spa for the meet, expressed excitement in running some of his talented juveniles at Saratoga this summer.

“We’re really lucky to have a bunch of nice 2-year-olds, so we thought it would be the right time to come back up here,” Casse said.

Some juveniles for Casse that are possible for stakes action later this meet include Ontheonesandtwos who was a last out second in the Debutante on June 26 at Churchill Downs and could race in the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack on August 8.

Glacial, third in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor on June 26 at Churchill Downs, is possible for the Grade 2, $150,000 Saratoga Special presented by Miller Lite.

The post Norm Casse ‘Hoping For A Little Bit Of Luck’ With Pretty Birdie In Opening Day Schuylerville appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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