Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Video: Behind the scenes at the Fury Stakes

On Sunday, Mark Casse's Northern Passion scooted up the rail to capture the $150,000 Fury Stakes by a length and a half over her stablemate Dene Court.

The race itself, scampering seven furlongs in 1:22.78, is only one part of the process on the path to victory.

Casse, who oversees the overall training experience of the horses under his care, is assisted at Woodbine by both Kathryn Sullivan and David Adams who look after schooling horses in the paddock, medications, training charts and setting up tack for the runners in the afternoon.

On Sunday morning, I caught up with Ivan Forde, groom for both Northern Passion and Dene Court, and followed their journey from the backstretch to the racetrack and back again.

Forde, who has worked for Casse for six years, was hopeful his two fillies would complete the exactor but, even under some urging, could not select his favourite filly.

"I have a lot of favourites," laughs Forde. "You can't choose one. All my horses, I take care of them the same way."

Over the course of the 15-minute video, which spans from 9 a.m vet check to just after 4:50 p.m post time, we also meet Prince who takes great pride in preparing Dene Court for the race.

"I grew up around horses," says Prince, who got his start in the racing game at the age of ten. "They called us the lightweights when I was in Barbados."

When Prince is done brushing and tacking up Dene Court for her bout with Northern Passion in the Fury, he leads her out of the stall and exclaims, "Picture time, isn't she lovey!"

I hope you will enjoy the full video below.

Thank you to Casse Racing for allowing me the opportunity for this behind-the-scenes look at the raceday experience.

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