Puts Ancient Warfare, Royal Asscher to the Test
Trainer Mark Casse has found quite a bit of success with his 2-year-olds this year and looks to continue that prosperity when he sends out recent turf maiden victors Royal Asscher in the Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies and Ancient Warfare in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile.
Ancient Warfare, a homebred son of Quality Road, defeated a field of nine in his debut July 30 at Saratoga. Casse’s assistant David Carroll, who is overseeing the trainer’s Churchill Downs this summer after being at Keeneland, spoke highly of the horse’s training during the spring.
“We had him in the spring at Keeneland and he always showed some talent,” Carroll said. “We shipped him up to Saratoga from there and he was very impressive on the turf. He was very professional, saved ground, split horses and won going away. You couldn’t ask for more than that; he got a good experience from the race. I think they’re all lightly-raced horses, for the most apart, so we’re looking forward to another great race from him.”
Royal Asscher, a homebred daughter of Tale of Ekati, could scratch in favor of an first-level allowance race later in the meet at Kentucky Downs. She broke her maiden last time out at Indiana Grand by a half-length, a big turnaround from her well-beaten third on the Ellis Park main track in her career debut.
“We aren’t 100 percent committed to the race, but we’ll take a look because an (allowance race) would be a big purse also,” Carroll said. “She was at Keeneland all spring, then we brought her up here and ran her at Indiana. Not sure what she beat that day, but she had one start prior to that, then we put her on the turf. Again, not sure what she beat but she had heat and a lot of desire to split horses and she’s improved since then.”
Jose Lezcano, the pilot aboard Ancient Warfare’s maiden victory, returns to the saddle in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile. Chris Landeros has the mount if Royal Asscher runs.
Casse has won 23 two-year-old races this year in North America, third behind only Steve Asmussen’s 27 and Todd Pletcher’s 26 heading into Thursday’s racing, according to Equibase statistics.
Edited Kentucky Downs release