Casse Sends Out Trio in Ricoh Woodbine Mile

Woodbine Mile

A field of 10 line up in the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile at Woodbine. (Photo credit: Woodbine Entertainment).

Trainer Mark Casse sends out a trio of runners in Saturday’s $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) as he seeks his third win in the Canadian fixture.

Casse won the Woodbine Mile in back to back years with Tepin in 2016 and World Approval in 2017. The recent inductee into racing’s Hall of Fame sends out Olympic Runner (10-1), March to the Arch (8-1) and Ride a Comet (5-1) who will break side by side in posts two through four in the field of 10.

The Woodbine Mile winner earns an automatic starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Del Mar as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series of races.

World Approval went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2017 while Tepin ran second in 2016. Tepin did win the Mile in 2015.

Olympic Runner won the King Edward (G2) in his last outing for Casse. Ride a Comet is coming off a third in the Wise Dan (G2) on June 26 at Churchill Downs. March to the Arch was third in the King Edward.

Wise Dan Replay

“I thought Raffi [jockey, Hernandez] did a great job,” said Casse, of the King Edward. “The pace was moderate, I guess, so he was able to position him a little closer to the pace. That horse has been so close to having a breakout performance. I kept waiting and waiting for it, and it finally came in that race. It was an excellent effort.”

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Ride a Comet is the shortest price of the Casse trio and gets my call.

“We felt he wasn’t training that well, so we gave him a bit of a break,” Casse said of Ride a Comet.  “And that seems to have really helped. He’s training much better coming into this race. He’ll be ready. He’s a nice horse and he obviously like running at Woodbine.”

At Churchill Downs on Saturday the $300,000 Iroquois (G3) and Pocahontas (G3) winners will earn starting spots in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). At Belmont Park the $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational (G1) winner will earn a fees expenses paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

Let’s head to Woodbine for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Woodbine Race 10 The Ricoh Woodbine Mile G1 6:12 ET

4 Ride a Comet   5-1

5 Set Piece   5-2

7 Raging Bull   2-1

3 March to the Arch   8-1

Ride a Comet

One of three in here sent out by the Casse barn, this six-year-old stalked the early pace and finished up well in a third-place finish in the Wise Dan (G2) at Churchill Downs going 1 1/16 miles. The winner Set Piece came back to run second in the Fourstardave ‘Cap (G1) at Saratoga. The runner up Somelikeithotbrown came back to run second in the Mint Million (G3) at Kentucky Downs and the fourth-place finisher Field Pass won the Baltimore Washington Turf Cup (G3) at Pimlico next out. This guy owns a pair of triple digit Beyers this year, a solid second three back in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland and a win in the Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park in his first start this year. He picks up the capable Gallardo and has worked sharply since his last effort. Casse has won this race twice in 2016 and 2017. Looks as if this guy is going to end up a fair price.

Set Piece

The Cox trainee beat our top pick two back and had a three race winning streak snapped by Get Stormy in the Fourstardave. The winner came back to run a disappointing sixth in the Turf Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 11. His streak started four back in the Opening Verse at Churchill Downs and then he won the Douglas Park, both on good ground. He was last early in the Fourstardave last out and came with a good late rally for the runner up spot and it was his third straight triple digit Beyer. Rosario picks up the call and while he looks like a major threat, he is going to need to see some pace in front of him and this race does not have an abundance of early zip signed up.

Raging Bull

The Brown trainee was the beaten favorite in the Fourstardave and he checked in sixth beaten 3 ¼ lengths and was not really a threat. He was coming off a tough beat two back where he was beaten a head in the Poker (G3). He earned a career top three back winning the Maker’s Mark Mile. He makes his third start of his current form cycle and picks up Dettori. Visually I thought his effort last out was a real clunker but his speed figure came back okay and if Brown ships him here, he seems likely he will bounce back with a better effort.


WIN: Ride a Comet to win at 4-1 or better.

EXACTA: 4 / 3,5,7,8 and 4,5 / 4,5,7


NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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