Mark Casse Is A Go-To Play

Trainer Mark Casse grew up in Ocala Florida on Cardinal Hill Farm. His father states he was foaled not born. Casse says when other kids were coloring in coloring books he was reading the Racing Form. I believe him. At 8 years old he went to Woodbine for the first time. His father was one of the founders of the Ocala Breeder’s Sales Co. He learned the breeding business so well he was running his fathers horse farm at 15. At 17 Mark Casse was a licensed trainer in Massachusetts.

Casse understands racing from a horse breeder’s perspective. His very young years growing up on a breeding farm supplied Casse with a college education on confirmation, pedigree and horse racing and Casse knows what confirmation contributes to running and winning.

The only way you can identify good conformation is to be schooled by people who know what it is. Casse took this hand on education straight to the top of racing. Along the way he met Harry Mangurian who owned the Boston Celtics. Mangurian signed Larry Bird and Mark Casse.

Harry Mangurian owned Mockingbird Bird farm in Ocala and he hired Mark Casse to train his racing stable. He had 900 horses on his farm. I could just about hear the meeting in my mind between Mangurian and Casse. It went something like this: Mark I want you to pick 50 of the best horses on the farm and race them. I am sure Mark Casse said OK with a smile. He probably saw 10 runners who had good confirmation while talking to Mangurian. Mangurian and Casse raced and won constantly.

Later Mangurian sold his farm to Eugene Melnyk and he left horse racing. Melnyk was in the pharmaceutical industry. He also owned the Ottawa Senators, a professional ice hockey team. Wind blew some luck in Mark Casse’s direction that day when Melnyk offered Casse the same training position that he had with Mangurian.

Today Casse has many very wealthy owners like John Oxley who has won 39 million dollars on the track and Gary Barber who was the executive producer for the movie Seabiscuit. Because Casse has very high end owners that means he has to produce.

Woodbine is located in Toronto Canada. At one time I was a regional manager for a Photography company and they wanted me to move their office so I did. I moved them to an office that was about a 10 minute ride to Woodbine racetrack.  I know because after about 50 trips to the track it never took more than 10 minutes to get to Woodbine.

Woodbine is a beautiful well run track. Mark Casse fit in perfectly. He moved there in 1998 although he still calls Ocala home.

I am an exacta player so all stats are for the exacta. Woodbine opens next month. Here are some interesting facts about Mark Casse at Woodbine.

Over the past 4 years Mark Casse went to post 2,265 times and he was in the exacta 820 times for a 36% exacta cash rate that’s about 566 races a year.

Post position can have an effect on a race and most players only talk about the outside post position as a bad post. Mark Casse loaded 299 runners in post position 3. He hit the exacta with a 129 for a 43% strike rate. Post position 1 is his second best draw with 275-104-38%. Post position 7 he is 221-73-33%, his lowest exacta strike rate. So post position does have an effect on the out come of the race. 10 percentage points higher is significant from post 3 to post 7.

What race Casse enters his horse on a race card is interesting. Race 1 he has started 189 horses and he hit with 85 for a 45% exacta hit rate. Casse went 213-85-40% in the second race of the day and the third race carded he went 201-87-43%. His entries for race 5 are 202-62-31% in the exacta. These 3 early races are the only 40% stats from the race card.

Mark Casse in race 1 and post position 3 could be a really good exacta bet.

I have always thought of Casse as a miler.  His stats say he is not. At 1 mile he sent 167 horses to post, he hit the exacta 39 times for a 23% strike rate. I have to admit I have made a lot of uneducated bets at a mile on Mark Casse at Woodbine based on my belief Casse is a superior miler. Casse’s 1 mile is actually 7 furlongs which is 660 feet less than a mile; he went 443-180-41% at 7 furlongs.

Weight is an issue that is not really understood and how it affects the outcome of a race. Casse is at his best when his horse is carrying 121 pounds where he had 412 races, was in 163 exactas for a 39% exacta stat. At 117 ponds Casse had 159 runners and 48 exactas for a 30% strike rate. I have always thought the less weight the faster a horse will run. Class may be the weight equalizer.

Patrick Husbands is Mark Casse’s Go-To rider. Casse and Husbands went 964-418-43% in the exacta stats. Casse and Husbands are a little better in sprints; they have 520 races with 238 exactas for a 46% hit rate. There are 164 race days for Woodbine this year. Patrick Husbands and Mark Casse get about 241 runners a year, about 1 ½ runners per day so there is opportunity even with a lot of favorites to evaluate and bet or pass.

Jermaine Bridgmohan had 39 races for Casse, 9 exactas hits for a 23% exacta rate. He rode 1 favorite for Casse and that represents only 2% favorites. Patrick Husbands rode 380 favorites from his 964 races for Casse and hit 231 exactas for a 61% strike rate. This means 39% of his runners were favorites. This stat says Mark Casse knows when his horse is ready to run a big race and hit the exacta.

Mark Casse gets pedigree horses and class is where the pedigree shows up. Claiming events are his lowest strike rate with 214-70-33% however, in Maiden Claim races Casse is 211-84-40%. I would watch out for Maiden Special Weights runners dropping into a Maiden Claim races which is the biggest drop in racing.

When you have a trainer that all his horses have good pedigree there are 2 class levels that dominate Casse’s efforts; Maiden Special Weights which Casse is 680-246-39% and Stakes races which he produced 513-173-34% exacta strike rate. 22% of Mark Casse runners are in Stakes races. You can see through his stats that 1,193 of the 2265 starts were from Maiden Special Weights and Stakes races. 52% of all runners are from those 2 class levels that is really impressive.

Mark Casse may hit everything at a very high percentage but as a player and a guy that has a, Go-To play I want to know how he produces on all his runners that went off at 3/1. Casse sent 127 starters to the gate and hit with 50 for a 39% strike rate for 3/1. I wish Woodbine was open now because Mark Casse is a Go-To exacta play.
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I have a play at Santa Anita today, Race 10, the #5 horse Ice Kat, 8/1 odds.  A Richard Baltas Lay 4 in a Route.  Overall his stat are 37-15-40%. This is a pattern play for Layoffs.  Every race has a higher percentage of exactas than the race before in the 4-race Layoff form cycle.  He starts out at 29%, goes to 30%, to 36%, then his best stat 40%.  Inside these numbers Baltas had 37 races and 29 of these were non favorites which he scored with 10 hits in the exacta.  It is sort of unusual; you get a stat that is much better than the favorite.
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Passing Races

The track I perform best at year after year is Aqueduct.  It is the premier claiming track in the U.S. for me. When all the big stables go to Gulfstream for the winter meet and take their high class pedigree horses with them, all the hard knockers remain for the cold and blustery days of racing at the big A and the claiming begins.

Claiming a horse out of a race can put you into the game almost instantly. You can have your first race within 14 days with your newly claimed horse. Once a horse is claimed I get a count on every trainer’s results for the 1st, 2nd 3rd 4th race after a claim separated by sprint and route.

Why a trainer claims a horse is not an issue. I have a hit rate on him as the horse goes through his first 4 race form cycle with this trainer. I am handicapping a specific statistic and a visual pattern at the same time.

At Aqueduct on Saturday there are 7 claim 1 sprint or route claims. This will be the first race for this trainer and the first race in the 4 race form cycle.

A total of 16 horses and their trainers are in the 4 race claim form cycle.

When I handicap I use two filters to cut that 16 down to a smaller amount of claiming trainers and their horses.

  1. If the horse won its last race.  I pass that horse as a key horse bet. If the horse won its last race it has already had it’s best race though there is one exception; if a horse was laid off on a win and is now returning from a layoff he can qualify as a bet.
  2. If the horse is the morning line favorite, then the horse is out as a bet except when the morning line is 3/1 or higher. I pass all horses at 5/2 and lower as a key horse bet.

Seven horses won their last race which leaves 9.  By the way because I passed these stats does not mean they will not hit the exacta.  I just find other races that are more appealing. Here are the stats in the exacta for all the runners at Aqueduct as well as the patterns and handicapping.

All stats are for the exacta.

Race 2
# 3 horse, The Great Samurai has a Morning Line (M/L) of 5/2. John Toscano has a Claim 2 in a Route race with stats of 30-10-33% at Aqueduct.

The 5/2 M/L is the reason for the Pass.

# 4 horse, Lost Iron has a 3/1 M/L.  Linda Rice is on a Claim 3 in a Route race with stats of 37-14-44%. A great stat however Linda had to lay the horse off. At Aqueduct on Claim 2 in a Route race at 1 mile she is 20-1-4-25%.  For a horse to be a key horse for me to bet, I handicap to win not to place so with a 20-1 record I will pass.

# 5 horse Peculiar Sensation trained by John Toscano is on a Claim 2 in a Route race which has stats of 30-10-30%.  Kendrick Carmouche and John Toscano at 1 mile at Aqueduct.  Here are their stats; 23 were sprints with 13 hits in the exacta for a 56% hit rate in routes.  They are 11-1-9% in Routes.  Toscano is a Sprint Claiming Trainer and not a Route Claiming Trainer. In pattern playing it’s important to understand that to be a pattern A has to connect to B.  The 11-1-9% says the connection is not there for the pattern to complete so I’ll pass!

# 6 horse Star Empire is 12/1.  Abigail Adsit is on a Claim 4 in a Route race and her stats are 14-2-14%. The final race in the form cycle Adsit tops out at 15% on Claim 3 route. I hit Abigail Adsit a few weeks ago on this blog on a Spike Play and she paid $14 to win.  For this stat, she is a pass.

Race 4

# 3 horse Hay Jabber Jaw is 15/1. Roberto Diodoro is on a Claim 3 in a Sprint race and his stats are 60-23-38%.  His exacta stats on Claim 4 Sprint are 38-19-58%.  The race before Claim 2 sprint, Diodoro is 47%. The Claim 3 Sprint is a good stat but is a bounce compared to the form cycle so I will pass.  

Race 5
# 3 horse, Alaapatique
is 4/1. Denis Lalman on Claim 2 in a Sprint race is 2-1-50%, a pass.

# 5 horse, Professor Snap is 4/1. Antonio Arriga is 5-2-40%, a pass.

# 6 horse, Buddy Anthony is on a Richard Schosberg Claim 1 in a Sprint race with stats of 15-5-33%.  Schosberg claimed this horse from Brad Cox, another claiming trainer. Because the horse won it’s last race it’s a pass.

Race 6

# 8 horse, H Man is 3/1. Jeremiah Englehart has a Claim 4 in a Sprint race with stats of 40-21-52%.  Jockey Trevor McCarthy and Jeremiah Englehart are 8-1-12% so this is a pass.

Race 7
# 2 horse, Will Did It is 5/1. John Toscano is on a Claim 1 in a Sprint race with stats of  61-17-27% in the exacta, a pass.

# 3 horse, Major League is 5/1. Rudy Rodriguez is on a Claim 1 sprint with stats of  101-54-53%.  The horse Won the last Race, pass.

# 6 horse, War Eagle’s Return has a morning line of 7/2. Carlos Martin is on a Claim 1 in a Sprint race.  His stats are 15-2-13% and a pass.

Race 9
# 3 horse, Slam Chowder
. A Bruce Levine trained horse on Claim 1 in a Sprint race is 54-16-29%. Bruce Levine has no races with jockey Joe Rocco Jr. so this is a pass.

# 6 horse, Exchange Secrets is 5/1. Trainer Gary Gullo is on a Claim 1 in a Sprint with stats of 77-32-41%. This horses last win was in 2016 so this is a pass.

# 7 horse, Perin’s Pride is 6/1.  Trainer Diodoro Robertino is on a Claim 2 in a Sprint race is 91-43-47%. Robertino started out West, I believe Turf Paradise then he went to Southern California and started claiming horses.  Then Robertino traveled to tracks in the Midwest and on to the East. His stats for Claim 1 in a Sprint race is 42%. He is a little better at Claim 2 in a Sprint race, 47%.  Kendrick Carmouche and Robertino are 3-0. Kendrick is a very good jockey at 6/1. I will take him as a bet because of the improvement expected on Claim 2 Sprint. He will be a key in an exacta bet for me.

# 8 horse, Lady Constance has a M/L of 5/2. M. Kantarmaci is on a Claim 1 sprint and is 0 wins so this is a Pass.

There is visual handicapping with the 4 race form cycle. As much as analyzing a statistic there is also handicapping other factors in every race. Knowing how to pass races is an art compared to the stat. I guarantee some of the races I pass will hit the exacta. The real improvement in handicapping is when you do not bet every race you handicap.
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Sober Up Aqueduct Sober Up

Today, Saturday February 3 at Aqueduct has carded small fields. I have seen jockey’s make mistakes and the rail birds start yelling to the jockey, sober up jockey sober up.

The Aqueduct race card has four races with 6 horse fields, one race with 7 horse fields, two races with 8 horse fields and one with a 10 horse field.

Small fields produce low odds on the race favorite. As the field size gets smaller the favorite has more of a chance to hit the exacta and the exacta becomes unattractive to bet because of low payouts. Here are some stats on the favorite in each race. All stats are for the exacta.

Race 1
The # 2 horse odds are 1/1 David Donk Claim 1 Route 6-1-16% Donk/Caramouche-9-0. A 6 Horse Field.

Race 2
The # 2 horse odds are 7/5 Todd Pletcher Lay 1 Sprint with favorites at Aqueduct 11-5-45% Pletcher T Franco 26-8-31%. A 6 horse field.

Race 3
The # 5 horse odds are 9/5 David Cannnizo Won Last Race Favorite 9-6-44% Cannizo D/Rocco Joe Jr. Zero races at Aqueduct. A 6 horse field.

Race 4
The # 5 horse odds are 3/1 Wesley Ward Lay 1sprint Aqueduct 10-4-40% Ward/Davis D. Zero Races at Aqueduct. An 8 horse field.

Race 5
The # 1 horse odds are 8/5 Philip Serpe Lay 1 sprint 14-4-28% Serpe/Franco M 7-0. A 7 horse field.

The # 1A horse odds are 8/5 Philip Serpe Debut 1 Sprint 14-1-7%Serpe/Lezcano A., 3-0. A 7 horse field.

Race 6
The # 2 horse odds are 9/5 Jason Service Lay 2 Route Aqu. 17-5-29% Service/McCarthy zero Races at Aqu. An 8 horse field.

Race 7
The # 6 horse odds are 5/2 Rudy Rodriguez Claim 1 Sprint Favorite at Aqu. 26-17-65% Rodriguez/Caramouche K. Zero Races at Aqu. An 8 horse field.

Race 8
The # 4 horse odds are 8/5 Kiaran McLaughlin Lay 1 Route Favorite Aqu. 9-4-44% McLaughlin/Bravo Joe zero races at Aqu. A 6 horse field

Race 9
The # 3 horse odds are 3/1 Linda Rice Lay 1 Sprint favorites at Aqu. 23-12-53% Rice/Alvarado J. 9-4-44%, a 10 horse field.

Aqueduct sends 57 runners to the races on a Saturday. That is a mistake. I have to react like a rail bird and yell out. Sober up Aqueduct Sober up.

I do have a bet at Santa Anita in Race 9, the # 11 horse Bowie.

This is a Down the Hill 6 ½ Furlongs Turf event. Richard Mandella has a Lay 1 Sprint down the hill of 34-15-44%.

Richard Mandella’s Detail Page (courtesy of edbain.com’s on line racing stats) for 1st after a Layoff in a Sprint Race on Santa Anita’s Down Hill Turf.

Mandella has his go to jockey up, Flavien Prat.  Together they have sent 49 runners down the hill, hit 16 exactas for a 32% strike rate.

The horse has 2 starts the first on the dirt he came in 9th out of ten runners. His second start was on the turf and he came in second out of 13 runners in the race.

Mandella layed Bowie off and entered him into today’s race, an allowance optional claim. I also think Mandella will not risk putting him up to be claimed. I think Mandella is going for the win in an easier spot. The horse has excellent pedigree; Malibu Moon and Unbridled’s song. I hit Mandella and Prat a couple of Saturdays ago down the hill.

Results:
We should congradulate the Aqueduct Morning Line Maker.  He had 4 wins, 2 places, one scratch, and 2 ran out.  It looked like a formful day for the favorite and that is the reason I passed all races at Aqueduct.

Santa Anita, Race 9, the 11 Bowie won and paid $8 to win.  The Exacta paid $106.60.  The fifth favorite came in at 12/1.

______________________
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Ed completed Jockey Trainer Reports for Tampa Jockey-Trainer TAM , for Laurel Park Jockey- Trainer LRL ,  for Gulfstream Park  Jockey-Trainer GP , and for Parx Jockey-Trainer PARX .

Interested in more than one Jockey Trainer Exacta Report circuit.  Now you can purchase any 2 completed circuits of your choice and save $10 at the following link:  Any 2 Jockey-Trainer Reports
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