TORONTO, July 10, 2021 – Trainer Mark Casse continued his Selene Stakes win streak as Live Oak Plantation’s homebred Our Flash Drive took command on the final turn and drove clear to win the $150,000 co-feature for three-year-old fillies on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
Casse earned his fourth consecutive victory in the Grade 3 event, with Patrick Husbands engineering the winning trip aboard the Florida-bred daughter of Ghostzapper.
Stretching out to 1 1/16 miles on the main track, Our Flash Drive stalked the front-running California Lily early on before moving up to press the pace after opening fractions of :24.78 and :49.03. With Husbands signalling it was go-time past the 1:12.87 three-quarter mark, Our Flash Drive overtook the pacesetter and took off down the lane to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:44.69.
Woodbine Oaks eligible Munnyfor Ro, who broke outward, rallied home from the backfield to take the runner-up honours under Justin Stein. It was another 2-1/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Sweet Souper Sweet, another Live Oak homebred trained by Michael Trombetta, who finished three lengths ahead of California Lily. Gote Go followed in fifth and the Casse-trained Danger was eased up and completed the order of finish.
Sent postward as the odds-on favourite, Our Flash Drive returned $4.70 to win.
Now two-for-four lifetime, she boasts back-to-back wins at Woodbine.
Casse, who has won the Selene a total of seven times, has teamed with Husbands to take four editions of the race. They combined for past wins with Dark Ending (2001), Dixie Strike (2012) and Miss Mo Mentum (2018).
The connections of Il Malocchio, who was cross-entered in the Selene, opted to compete in the Fury two races later.
Undefeated three-year-old filly Lorena led all the way to win the $125,000 Fury Stakes and keep her perfect record intact for trainer and co-owner Stu Simon on Saturday at Woodbine.
Leading the field of Canadian-bred fillies through a quarter in :23.57 and half-mile :46.82, Lorena turned back her late challengers to win the seven-furlong sprint in 1:23.94 in rein to the hot-handed Gary Boulanger.
Through the turn, Lorena rebuffed Owen’s Tour Guide, who also entered the Fury with a two-for-two record, and then held the late-rallying Astrological at bay down the stretch to defeat that foe by three-quarters of a length. Less than a length behind, Curlin’s Catch completed a 2-3 finish for trainer Mark Casse.
Il Malocchio finished four lengths back in fourth with Bodacious Miss, Owen’s Tour Guide and El Bayern rounding out the field.
“I thought that she broke well, and she seemed to make the lead rather easily,” said Simon, who co-owns the Souper Speedy-Negotiable filly with Brent & Russell McLellan and former jockey Gerry Olguin. “She was setting sensible fractions and looked comfortable, so I wasn’t worried about where she was at.”
Simon said he is still mulling over whether the Ontario-bred filly will head to the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 1 at Woodbine.
“I hate to put too much on a young horse’s plate, so we’ll take it under careful consideration,” he said.
“She’s an awfully good filly,” he added. “She ranks right up there with all of them. I think we’ve been fortunate to get some good young horses and it’s worked out well.”
Lorena paid $3.90 to win as the 4-5 favourite.
It was a banner day for Boulanger, who had a grand slam on the 11-race program.
“It’s everything that we work for and that we want,” said the veteran reinsman, who picked up the mount on Lorena when making his comeback from injury this season. “Everybody wants to do well, especially coming back from injuries, but sometimes it’s harder to get back into that light. I’ve been fortunate to be involved with some great people that have given me the opportunities, like Stu and everybody else, and it’s a lot of fun just getting back.”
Another pair of Oaks eligibles, Miss Marie ($61.10) with David Moran defeated Emmeline and Boulanger by a neck for the upset in a $123,200 three-year-old maiden allowance going 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.01. Breeda Hayes trains the Carpe Diem miss for Hillsbrook Farms.
Live Thoroughbred racing resumes at Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday, featuring the Grade 3 Marine Stakes and Queenston Stakes. Post time for the 11-race program is 1:20 p.m.