Trainer Profile - Mark Casse

January 30th, 2019

Most horseplayers know who trainer Mark Casse is. Casse dominated Woodbine Racetrack for years before saddling horses in the United States. While training horses at Woodbine, Casse won an incredible 9 Sovereign Awards, and was Woodbine's leading trainer 12 times.

Casse still runs horses at the Canadian track. His U.S. stable, though, is where he's really started to shine. Mark Casse has saddled some of the top runners in the U.S. the past few racing seasons. This year, he's already unleashed a real Kentucky Derby contender in the Lecomte Stakes.

Check out a profile of Derby contender War of Will before we take a look at a few other top Casse runners the past couple of years.

Mark Casse Unleashes Another Derby Contender

War of Will, 2019 Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes

The Gary Barber owned War Front sired colt came from a Sadler's Wells broodmare, which explains why Casse put him on turf in his first 4 races. He broke his maiden over dirt in late November and looked so good doing it that horseplayers made him the chalk to win the Lecomte.

Although War of Will easily handled his foes, the thing to notice from his win is how he pulled Tyler Gaffalione along the backstretch. War of Will's a horse that wants to go past other horses. That fighting spirit could either work against him or work for him on the First Saturday in May. How he runs in the Risen Star Stakes will most definitely tell us more. Don't worry about speed ratings. Look and see if he relaxes along the backstretch before going for the win.

World Approval, 2017 Breeders' Cup Mile

Casse and owners Live Oak Plantation has kept World Approval active because he's a gelding. He continues to run hard, even winning the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes last February, but because he's 7-years-old, it's doubtful he'll ever rediscover the form that led to his 2017 Breeders' Cup Mile win.

No worries. As long as he wants to run, and can pick up paychecks along the way, Mark will train him and put him on the racetrack. Casse also won the Woodbine Mile with World Approval in 2017.

Classic Empire, 2017 Arkansas Derby

After he took the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 2016, most every Kentucky Derby fan had Classic Empire at the top of their list. During his 3-year-old season, everything went wrong for the son of Pioneerof the Nile. He had a late start due to injury and got a horrible post on a sloppy afternoon at the Kentucky Derby.

Classic Empire was so talented that he still won the Arkansas Derby and finished fourth on the First Saturday in May. He showed up in the Preakness Stakes to finish second, but although he had a 3-length lead in the stretch, the Chad Brown trained Cloud Computing rallied furiously to get up by a head.

Tepin, 2015 Breeders' Cup Mile

Because Casse trains at Woodbine, he often sees how unafraid European horsemen like Aidan O'Brien are at running female horses against males. Tepin brilliantly dominated male horses in many races during her career.

Starting with the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland in 2015, she ran off a string of 8 straight graded victories including the Breeders' Cup Mile, the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, and the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile. She finished second in both the 2016 First Lady and the 2016 BC Mile.

Tepin's one of the best grass milers we've ever seen. Right now, she's the best horse Mark Casse's ever trained. Can War of Will leapfrog her with a couple of Triple Crown race victories? We shall see!