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Specialist Bails at Del Mar

Posted by on 8/17/2015 9:14:45 PM

For the most part, the dirt track at Del Mar this season has been well received but one very clever and successful trainer, Mark Casse, is bailing on the meeting and moving his horses basically back to Canada and New York.

The unevenness of the synthetic in prior years and the disappointment of horses prompted the powers that be to renovate and put the dirt track back in but it has not worked for Casse this season.

Last year, Casse won with about 18% of his starters at the Del Mar meeting. His starters earned over $1.1 million and he won 4 Graded stakes.

This year, there has been a drought. He has won with one of the first six horses he saddled so far this summer at Del Mar.

Based in Canada at Woodbine where they have a synthetic Polytrack, Casse is the leading trainer there and he also has a string at Saratoga.

A number of Casse’s runners are purchased at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company where the stock is prepped on a synthetic track.

Casse is no overnight wonder. He has been around the game for his entire career and last year he was the 6th leading trainer in the country.

From the time he was 10, Casse knew he wanted to become a trainer. He studied pedigrees and after seeing the great Secretariat win the 1973 Kentucky Derby in person, Casse was awestruck.

He won with the very first horse he saddled in 1979, won his first stakes later that year and won his first Grade 1 stakes in 2001 when Exciting Story won the Met Mile.

The quality of trainers at the Del Mar meet is high and although Casse will be missed life will go on.

As far as his style, Casse wins with a number of patented moves.

When he has a runner that has been racing in MSW company drop into a maiden claimer, get down.

This is a very potent situation as Casse has won with 30% of this kind of runner in the last 5 years and 56% of those runners ran in the money.

Casse is also not averse to moving a horse from turf to the synthetic. He has won with 21% of those runners the last 5 years with 52% in the money.

He is even better at 25% going dirt to synthetic. And he can get horses to win off extended layoffs. He is 16% the last 5 years with horses returning after 180 days or more with a median payoff of over 3-1.

Sprinters being sent along are also a nice play for Casse as he hits with 20% in that category and is even a bit better going route to sprint at 23%.

One of the things players have to be careful about with Casse is betting his first-time starters. They win at a decent race but he is 24% the last 5 years with runners making their second career starts.

Watch this trainer wherever he shows up.

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