Trainer Mark Casse's barn on the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots backstretch has done a fabulous job in displaying promising 3-year-old talent in New Orleans this winter and impressive Fair Grounds allowance winner Dream Maker took another step closer toward his expected start in the Grade II $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9 with a half-mile work on Saturday morning.
Under the supervision of David Carroll, who oversees Casse's Fair Grounds division, John Oxley's homebred son of Tapit covered the four-furlong distance in a swift 47.80, which was the fastest of 111 recorded works at the distance. Jockey Florent Geroux was aboard for the breeze.
“He worked beautifully this morning,” Carroll said. “It was just very smooth and very professional. The track was a bit quick this morning. He did it in hand and his gallop out was beautiful. He came back, cooled out great. We're very happy with him.”
Dream Maker won his sophomore debut in impressive fashion when taking a first level allowance event over the Fair Grounds main track by 8½ lengths on February 9. He won his career debut last June at Churchill Downs before two unplaced efforts against Grade I company in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on September 3 and the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity on October 6.
“He hasn't regressed from his race at all,” Carroll said. “He's just been very professional with what he's doing. Florent was very impressed with him. Right now it's just a matter of keeping him happy. He's plenty fit enough. We have a great crew and everyone takes pride in their job. We're having a good meet and everyone's in a good mood. All the horses are doing well.”
Dream Maker is a full brother to Grade I turf winner Dream Dancing. Both horses are out of the unraced Monarchos broodmare To Dream About whose dam Beautiful Pleasure was a multiple Grade I winner and was Champion Older Mare in 1999.
The Casse barn is riding high with not only Dream Maker but War of Will, who is atop the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 60 points acquired via wins in the the Grade III Lecomte and Grade II Risen Star Stakes.
“It's an absolute privilege to be around horses like that,” Carroll said. “We have great owners and it's our responsibility to take care of them and put them in the right spot to do their best.”
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