Photo Credit Chelsea Durand
Trainer Mark Casse swept both turf stakes races on Saturday’s card at the Big A with 4-year-old Curlin’s Honor winning the $150,000 Artie Shiller and juvenile Jack and Noah one race later in the $100,000 Atlantic Beach.
Casse said he was proud of the way in which each of his trainees got the job done.
“I thought Joel Rosario gave a tremendous ride on Curlin’s Honor,” said Casse.
Rosario confidently guided Curlin’s Honor along the rail at the top of the stretch, where he met and outfought a game Caribou Club in the final yards to earn the victory by a neck.
Making his 16th career start for owners John Oxley and Breeze Easy, the $1.5 million yearling purchase entered the Artie Schiller off a 1 ¾ length optional-claiming victory on October 6 at Woodbine.
The son of Curlin is multiple graded-stakes placed including a pair of third place finishes in the Grade 3 Bold Venture and Grade 2 Play the King at Woodbine. The Artie Schiller score was his first stakes win since capturing the Woodstock in May 2018 at Woodbine.
“We had been high in him for a very long time,” said Casse. “I’m glad he got the trip where he was able to show his ability and just how good he can be. Hopefully he can continue to progress from here down the road.”
One race later in the Atlantic Beach, Jack and Noah, piloted by Jose Ortiz for owner Gary Barber went straight to the lead and never relinquished to pick up his first stakes victory making only his third career start.
“I had talked to Jose before the race and we wanted to get him to settle,” said Casse. “He’s an extremely fast colt and despite getting up to the lead early, I thought Jose did do a good job of getting him to relax.”
Bred in France and sired by British-bred Bated Breath, Jack and Noah won his debut by 1 ¼ lengths on September 27 at Belmont Park and followed with a fourth-place running to eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Four Wheel Drive on October 6 in the Grade 3 Futurity at Belmont.
“He’s come out of the race well and we’ll look to try to continue to get him to settle,” said Casse. “If not, we know we’ll have one of the fastest 3-year-old turf sprinters in the country next year, so it’s a good position to be in.”
Casse also reported Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston is a possibility to make his first start since his Belmont triumph trying turf for the first time in the $75,000 Woodchopper facing fellow 3-year-olds on December 28 at Fair Grounds Racecourse.
“Right now, I’m considering giving him a shot on the turf in the Woodchopper at Fair Grounds,” said Casse. “It’s a chance for us to face straight 3-year-olds and we feel it might be a good spot for him to make a return as he wouldn’t have to be fully cranked and we can work our way from there.”
Casse also reported multiple graded-stakes winner War of Will received a full physical following his ninth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic and appeared fine while multiple graded-stakes winner Got Stormy would next be pointed to the Grade 1 Matriarch on December 1 at Del Mar following her second-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile.