Helium Floats Away from Them at Woodbine to Become First Stakes Winner for Ironicus

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Helium | Michael Burns

Helium backed up a sharp and fast track-and-trip debut score Sept. 27 to dominate Sunday’s Display S. at Woodbine and become the first black-type winner for his freshman sire (by Distorted Humor). Off as the narrow 7-5 favorite over fellow impressive debut winner Maclean’s Posse, the bay broke well and took up a stalking spot off the inside as his chief market rival took heat from two foes through splits of :23.65 and :46.40. Helium advanced ominously while out wide heading for home, and found another gear when called upon in the stretch to float away from his foes at will while capping a huge weekend North of the border for his trainer.

For the racing week at Woodbine, Casse sent out one winner each on Thursday and Friday; five on Saturday including dominant ‘TDN Rising Star’ Souper Sensational (Curlin) in the filly equivalent of the Display, the Glorious Song S.; and three on Sunday. He now boasts more than triple as many wins as the next trainer in the Woodbine meet standings.

“He’s a pro, this horse is like an old soul,” said pilot Emma-Jayne Wilson, who was celebrating a three-win day of her own that also included a victory in the GI Northern Dancer Turf S. “First time he ran, we wanted to just get his legs and come running. He was up near the point and when I asked him to quicken, he quickened… So today, I was pretty confident. They set some decent fractions in front of him and he wasn’t fazed. Even the horse on the outside moved up and he was like ‘Oh, can I go now?’ I said ‘No, we’ll just wait.’… And sure enough, when I pulled the trigger–you’ve heard this said time and time again when you’re standing in this winner’s enclosure…when you pull the trigger and they go, they’re good horses. Well, that’s what got me here today.”

Helium’s dam produced a Classic Empire maker colt in 2019 and an Accelerate colt this term before being bred back to American Pharoah. Sire Ironicus, now a Claiborne resident, blossomed at ages four and five, annexing a trio of graded races on the grass for Shug McGaughey and Stuart Janney III before just missing in the 2016 GI Shadwell Turf Mile S.

DISPLAY S., C$101,600, Woodbine, 10-18, 2yo, 7f (AWT), 1:22.62, ft.
1–HELIUM, 120, c, 2, by Ironicus
                1st Dam: Thundering Emilia, by Thunder Gulch
                2nd Dam: Saint Emilia (Per), by Saint Ballado
                3rd Dam: Proud Emilia, by Proud Appeal
($55,000 Ylg ’19 FTKOCT). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-D. J. Stable
LLC; B-Teneri Farm Inc & Bernardo Alvarez Calderon (KY);
T-Mark E. Casse; J-Emma-Jayne Wilson. C$60,000. Lifetime
Record: 2-2-0-0, $77,763. *1/2 to Mighty Scarlett (Scat
Daddy), GSP, $225,860; Emilia’s Moon (Malibu Moon),
G1SW-Per.
2–Gospel Way, 120, g, 2, Brody’s Cause–Bible Belt, by Pulpit.
O-William B. Thompson, Jr.; B-William B. Thompson (VA);
T-Nathan Squires. C$20,000.
3–Decimator, 118, g, 2, The Big Beast–Ragtime Road, by
Dixieland Band. ($40,000 Ylg ’19 OBSOCT). O-Colebrook Farms;
B-Jimmie Ballinger (FL); T-Ashlee Brnjas. C$11,000.
Margins: 4 1/4, NK, 4. Odds: 1.40, 5.35, 56.85.
Also Ran: Exceed, Maclean’s Posse, Knight Kingdom, Souper Classy. Scratched: Rocket Reload. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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