Florida-bred Karaya is among four 3-year-old fillies from the Mark Casse barn entered for the CA$100,000 Alywow at Woodbine Saturday as the dual Hall of Fame trainer tries for his fifth victory in the six-and-a-half-furlong turf contest. Casse will also saddle 2-1 morning line favorite Stormcast, Dancing Duchess and Creed’s Gold.

Owned by M Racing Group LLC, Karaya has won half of her six career starts with a second-place finish to Twirling Queen in the $106,000 Melody of Colors going five furlongs on the synthetic course at Gulfstream Park on March 24. In one start since, the daughter of Bucchero finished last of 10 after pressing the pace in the $80,000 Honey Ryder won by De Regreso going a mile on the Gulfstream Park turf on May 4. 

“She’s a very nice one,” Casse said. “We tried running her long last time and she just can’t go that distance—she is a turf sprinter. This distance is much more suited to her talents.”

Her three wins came in consecutive starts while sprinting on the Gulfstream all-weather course. She won a $50,000 maiden optional claiming on Dec. 23 then a first level, $50,000 optional claiming against Florida-breds on Jan. 14. She also wired a field of open first level, $75,000 optional claiming fillies on March 7 at Gulfstream Park, winning by two-and-a-half lengths.

Her owners bought her for $145,000 out of the Halcyon Hammock Farm consignment at last year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales June Sale and she has since earned $157,500. She also went through the OBS auction ring as a yearling at the 2022 Winter Mixed Sale where Monarch Farms paid $31,000 for her out of the Summerfield consignment.

Bred in Florida by Shade Tree Thoroughbreds Inc., Karaya is out of the Put It Back mare Jim’s Lonesa and tries to follow in the footsteps of her half-sister, Two Sixty, who won the Grade 3 Selene on the synthetic main track at Woodbine.

Patrick Husbands will ride Karaya from post three and she is 7-2 on the morning line.

Stormcast makes her second start of the year after finishing second in the Honey Ryder. 

By Mitole out of the Quiet American mare Scolara, Stormcast won a maiden special weight by three-and-a-half lengths going seven furlongs on the Woodbine turf in August.

“We had to give her some time off after she won her first race, but she came back with a very nice effort in the Honey Ryder,” Casse said. “This race is a little short for her, but she always comes up with a strong showing.”

Stormcast is owned by K E M Racing Stable and has one win from four starts with two seconds and a third with earnings of $79,859. She was a $95,000 out of the OBS March Sale last year where she too was consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm.

Rafael Hernandez will ride Stormcast from post one.

Dancing Duchess was third in the $128,000 Star Shoot going six furlongs on the main track at Woodbine in April to start her 3-year-old campaign. She has since finished fourth in one start against second level, $50,000 optional claiming fillies and mares going five furlongs on the Woodbine turf on May 18.

“She got beat by an older filly [4-year-old Liam’s Gift] last time out,” Casse said. “I thought that was a very good performance on her part. She continues to get better with each start.”

In her final race last year, Dancing Duchess won the $224,000 Algonquin at five furlongs on the turf at Woodbine on Oct. 8. In eight lifetime starts, she has won two with two seconds and a third with earnings of $206,911.

Sahin Civaci will rider from post four and they are 5-2 in the program.

Creed’s Gold is 6-1 on the morning line and will be ridden by Kazushi Kimura from post five.

The daughter of Jimmy Creed exits a runner-up performance against non-winners of two, $50,000 optional claimers going a mile on the turf at Woodbine on June 1.

Rounding out the field are Zo Lee with Luis Contreras named to ride, Rosa and jockey Peitro Moran and Ryan Munger will be aboard Uphill Dance.

Return to the June 20 issue of Wire to Wire