Twitter: BloodHorse

Canadian-bred Flameaway being pointed to Plate following Derby run

The horse escaped significant injury at the rain soaked Kentucky Derby

Never has a 13th-place finish been so easy to accept for trainer Mark Casse.

Canadian-bred Flameaway finished a distant 13th in the Kentucky Derby at a rain-soaked Churchill Downs on Saturday. But more importantly, the three-year-old escaped significant injury despite twice taking a bad step late in the race.

“Right after the race, (jockey) Jose Lezcano came back and said, ‘I’m worried he hurt himself,’” Casse said Monday. “So we rushed back and I was sick about that.

“We got him back to the barn and he was fine so that kind of made me forget he didn’t run well. It just made me happy he was OK.”

RELATED: Casse bullish on Canadian-bred State of Honor’s chances in Kentucky Derby

In fact, Casse said Flameaway will now be pointed towards the $1-million Queen’s Plate on June 30 at Woodbine Racetrack. In February, Flameaway was installed as the 5-1 Winterbook second choice behind Telekinesis (4-1) — another Casse trainee.

The Winterbook offered early odds on all 109 three-year-olds — 95 colts and geldings and 14 fillies — nominated to the 2018 Canadian Triple Crown.

Filly Wonder Gadot provided Casse with his Derby weekend highlight. She finished second in the US$1-million Kentucky Oaks on Friday, a half-length behind Monomoy Girl.

Wonder Gadot narrowly missed becoming the second Canadian-bred to win this event after Gal In A Ruckus did so in ‘95 for owner John Oxley.

And the possibility exists that both Wonder Gadot and Telekinesis could join Flameaway in the Plate. Casse said Wonder Gadot will definitely run in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks and expects Telekinesis to go postward in the $125,000 Plate Trial. Both races will be held June 9 at Woodbine.

“I haven’t totally discussed (Flameaway running in Plate) with Mr. Oxley but we did have a conversation before the Derby about it and so I feel pretty certain that’s where we’re going,” Casse said. “I’ve definitely talked to Gary Barber (Wonder Gadot’s owner) and we’re going to go to the Oaks with the hopes of making the Queen’s Plate.

“We flirted with the idea of running (Telekinesis) in the Preakness but as it stands today he’s going to come up and run in the Plate Trial. So we actually have three extremely talented three-year-olds that are going to come up and run there.”

Wonder Gadot (6-1), named after Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot, was third in the Winterbook odds. In 2014, filly Lexie Lou earned Casse, 10 times Canadian racing’s top trainer, his first Queen’s Plate victory after winning the Oaks.

The Oaks is the first race of the Canadian Triple Tiara, the Triple Crown for Canadian-foaled fillies.

“We already know Wonder Gadot loves the synthetic (surface Queen’s Plate is run on),” Casse said. “She’s run on it once and won the Mazarine Stakes (in 2017) at Woodbine by six lengths.

“Flameaway broke his maiden on it early in his career. Telekinesis has never run on it but he’s so talented that I don’t think it will matter.”

Casse said the Derby weather Saturday left him very disheartened.

RELATED: Classic Empire gives trainer Mark Casse best shot at Kentucky Derby title

“As a trainer, all you want is a good, fair surface because if your horse at least gets to try and they beat you, then they beat you,” Casse said. “The horse that won the race (Justify, bred by Vancouver’s John Gunther) is a great horse, there’s no question about.

“Could we have possibly finished better had the track been in different shape? I think so.”

Casse said Flameaway had enjoyed previous success in wet conditions but the sheer volume of rain in Kentucky made running very difficult.

“It (wet conditions) is something very few get to experience because for the most part if there was a track like, we would scratch and not run,” he said. “But this is the Kentucky Derby … he earned his way there.”

Flameaway qualified for the Derby by winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes and finishing second in both the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes.

Flameaway didn’t emerge from the Derby unscathed, finishing with a gash on one of his back legs. But Casse was very thankful it wasn’t worse.

“It was not serious and he’s fine,” Casse said. “I was with him and Wonder Gadot (on Monday morning) and they looked great.

“It (injury scare) gives you perspective that, ‘Hey, you know what? It’s one race, we’ll go on. At least he’s OK.’”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Man who fled cops and dumped truck at golf course pleads guilty

Incident in January involved arrests by Mission and Ridge Meadows RCMP

Inaugural Fraser Valley Comedy Festival features two shows in Mission

One show is at the Stage on Oct. 20, the other is at the Clarke Theatre on Oct. 25

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Fundraisers planned to help rebuild Mission’s Silverhill Hall

A Halloween party and a GoFundMe page created to help raise money

Hundreds attend safety fair held by Mission Fire Rescue Services

Firefighters presented important safety information along with interactive games and fun activities

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

UPDATE: B.C. man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, of Nelson, will face mischief and assault charges

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Most Read