Elysian Field Gives Casse Fourth Woodbine Oaks

Elysian Field | Michael Burns

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Bet down from a 12-1 morning line to be off at less than half that quote, Team Valor International and Gary Barber's Elysian Field (Hard Spun) stamped her authority on Sunday's Woodbine Oaks–despite some wayward ways in the final eighth of a mile–to give trainer Mark Casse a fourth victory in the first leg of the Canadian Filly Triple Crown and first since Barber's Lexie Lou (Sligo Bay {Ire}) scored in 2014. In partnership with Michael Langlois, Barber also won Sunday's Plate Trial S. with Paramount Prince (Society's Chairman).

With the white-hot Sahin Civaci at the controls, Elysian Field broke without incident from her low draw and raced three back on the fence about midfield and six lengths off the lead as 125-1 Friends for Life (Silent Name {Jpn}) and Fashionably Fab (Silent Name {Jpn}) matched motors up front. Favored Ticker Tape Home (Medaglia d'Oro), impressive winner of the Fury S. June 10 and trying a synthetic route for the first time, found the perfect stalking spot from third. Content to bide his time inside and wait for the runs to come, Civaci slipped Elysian Field some rein as they raced around the turn and the duo loomed a threat as they advanced, but Ticker Tape Home had gone for home three wide at the five-sixteenths and dared them to catch her. But reel her in they did, as Elysian Field rolled up to wrest command about a furlong out, threw her ears in the air and got to playing a bit as if the job was done, but was across the line safely clear. The final time was fractionally faster than that clocked by the colts in the Plate Trial one race earlier.

Dismissed at odds of 47-1 for her debut over the Saratoga turf last August for trainer Bruce Brown, Elysian Field flew home to be second and would have trained on following her private purchase, but for a health scare. Fifth, but placed eighth via DQ on the turf at Gulfstream Jan. 8, she filled the same spot going two turns on the synth in Hallandale Feb. 5. The chestnut graduated by 3 1/4 lengths in her first local try over 6 1/2 furlongs Apr. 30 and was four lengths adrift of Ticker Tape Home in second when last seen in the seven-furlong Fury.

“We bought her a month or two after her first start at Saratoga and we had her here for about two days and she went into the clinic for about a week, almost a little touch and go, colic,” said Casse. “I think it took its toll and we brought her home and she's got bigger and stronger. She's beautiful.”

Next up could be a date with the boys in the Aug. 20 King's Plate, a race won by Lexie Lou en route to Horse of the Year honors eight years ago.

“I want to talk to Barry Irwin from Team Valor, but she's a big, strong filly and I'm extremely happy how we get a month between the Oaks and the King's Plate, so that's important,” said Casse. “Three weeks is tough, so now we get four weeks, and I don't see why she wouldn't.”

Pedigree Notes:

Elysian Field is the 99th worldwide black-type winner for the highly reliable Hard Spun and her broodmare sire Smart Strike–whose daughters are now responsible for a remarkable 165 black-type winners around the world–needs little introduction, especially north of the border. Anderson Farms is also the breeder of Hard Spun's Grade I winner Hard Not to Love.

David Anderson's operation acquired Elysian Field's three-time winning dam for $100,000 in foal to Kantharos at the 2018 Keeneland January Sale and she produced three foals before being sold for $35,000 in foal to Collected at Keeneland November in 2021. The mare dropped a filly in 2022 and a filly by Union Rags this season, both in Kentucky.

Elysian Field's female family includes this year's GI Preakness S. hero National Treasure (Quality Road), SW Ultimate (Speightstown) and recent 'TDN Rising Star' Pirate (Omaha Beach).

 

 

Sunday, Woodbine
WOODBINE OAKS PRESENTED BY BUDWEISER, C$503,000, Woodbine, 7-23, (C), 3yo, f, 1 1/8m (AWT), 1:49.83, ft.
1–ELYSIAN FIELD, 121, f, 3, by Hard Spun
                1st Dam: Elysian, by Smart Strike
                2nd Dam: Initiation, by Deputy Minister
                3rd Dam: Proposal, by Mt. Livermore
($50,000 Ylg '21 FTKOCT; $70,000 2yo '22 OBSOPN).
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Team Valor International and Gary
Barber; B-Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. (ON); T-Mark E. Casse;
J-Sahin Civaci. C$300,000. Lifetime Record: 6-2-2-0, $306,692.
2–Wickenheiser, 121, f, 3, Lemon Drop Kid–Game (Fr), by
Montjeu (Ire). ($245,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE.
O-Clay Scherer, Al & Bill Ulwelling and Kevin Attard; B-Sean
Fitzhenry (ON); T-Kevin Attard. C$100,000.
3–Fortyfiveseventy, 121, f, 3, Perfect Timber–Avall Tale, by
Tale of Ekati. ($4,000 Ylg '21 FTKOCT). O/T-Barbara J. Minshall;
B-Charles Fipke (ON). C$50,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, 3/4, 1HF. Odds: 5.80, 6.35, 50.80.
Also Ran: Me and My Shadow, Ticker Tape Home, Big Brass Bed, Flysofreeashleeb, Courtly Ro, Fashionably Fab, Tito's Calling, Collect Dattt, Delphia, Great Kate, Friends for Life.

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