Founded in 1951, the Hall of the Fame honors the achievements of the most successful horsemen in North America. With prolific jockeys and iconic thoroughbreds also eligible for entry, it’s a who’s who of horse racing and features the likes of Calvin Borel, Bob Baffert, Jerry Hollendorfer and Javier Castellano. The latest horseman to be recognized for his services to the sport is Mark Casse. The Indianapolis-born handler has enjoyed notable success in both Canada and the USA, and very few are likely to argue with his inclusion.
Casse will be officially inducted at a ceremony later this year, alongside two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan. Having set track records at Keeneland, Santa Anita and Woodbine, as well as having amassed earnings of $7,552,920, the champion thoroughbred achieved legendary status in the sport, and his legions of fans will be delighted to see his record-breaking exploits officially acknowledged. Jockeys Darrel McHargue and Alice Headley Chandler have also made the list.
However, it’s Casse’s inclusion which has made the most headlines and having won the 2019 Preakness Stakes with War of Will, he’s enjoyed an extremely fruitful twelve months. It was a superb moment for the popular horseman, with the winner having previously encountered trouble in the Kentucky Derby. Although Maximum Security crossed the line in front, he was adjudged to have impeded the progress of the War of Will and was subsequently stripped of his victory. The Jason Servis-trained runner was able to bounce back, however, taking the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Stakes, and he’s already been installed as the favorite in the latest horse racing betting for the 2020 Breeder’s Cup Classic.
Casse also has an extensive list of major race victories to his name including the Del Mar Oaks, Gulfstream Park Oaks, the Risen Star Stakes and the Woodbine Mile. He’s also enjoyed success at the aforementioned Breeder’s Cup having landed the Mile on two separate occasions. Tepin’s success in 2015 was notable due to the four-year old’s exponential improvement throughout the course of the season. Her success in the contest landed connections a share of $2million and yet more prize money was accrued when the impressive filly landed the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2016. It was the first time that a horse from North America had been successful in the prestigious contest, and although she was forced to negotiate unfavorably soft conditions, she still managed to score comfortably at the Berkshire track.
Score one for the USA: Tepin wins the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot! pic.twitter.com/AERGYswxv1
— TVG (@TVG) June 14, 2016
The likable horseman described his induction to the Hall of Fame as an “amazing feeling”, before adding that he feels “very honored” when he considers some of the names that he now sits alongside. His success at Woodbine has already led him to be added to the Canadian Hall of Fame; however, this is a significant achievement for the trainer who is now closing in on 3,000 winners.
Casse admits that he’d always wanted to work with thoroughbreds from an early age, and having received his training license at the age of 17, he’s certainly put in the hours. He now sits alongside a number of his fellow horsemen such as Steven Asmussen and Richard Mandella, and with his achievements in the sport having finally been recognized, he will surely now simply concentrate on claiming that historic 3000th winner.