Colonial Downs: Fev Rover Wins Beverly D for Mark Casse; Set Piece Takes Arlington Million

Double Triumph: Father-Son Duo Dominates Top Horse Races at Saratoga and Colonial Downs

Father and son sent out the favorites in two top races, one at Saratoga, the other at Colonial Downs, and the horses came through with convincing victories for the Casse crew.

Less than an hour after Norm Casse sent out 4-5 favorite Rhyme Schemes to a 9 ½-length win in the Saratoga Special (G2), dad Mark Casse’s 3-5 favorite Fev Rover won the $500,000 Beverly D (G1) by 3 ½ lengths.

Also Saturday at Colonial Downs, Set Piece (5-1) won the Arlington Million (G1) by two lengths over last year’s winner Santin and Gigante (22-1) held on by a neck and won the $500,000 Secretariat (G2).

The track in New Kent, Virginia hosted the trio of graded stakes races for the first time. Million Day was held at Churchill Downs in 2022 after the track owners purchased Arlington Park in Illinois and then sold the property to the Chicago Bears.

While Norm was delighted with his 2-year-old colt’s effort, Mark’s 5-year-old mare earned an automatic berth, and all fees paid, to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.

“She’s a really good horse,” Mark Casse said. “It’s taken her a little while to understand our racing, but the toughest part today was getting her saddled. She’s a toughie but she looks magnificent.

“She’s really grown up in the last year. So, we’re excited and looking for the Breeders’ Cup.”

The Beverly D field was reduced to five with the trainer scratches of Didia and Rocky Star.

Fev Rover led gate to wire over the 1 3/16 miles over a firm turf course. Gina Romantica, after challenging briefly along the rail, finished second.

Fev Rover was ridden by Javier Castellano, who also rode Gigante to victory. The winner returned $3.20 on a $2 win bet in boosting her record to 17-5-4-3, including a win in the Nassau (G2) and a third in the Diana (G1) this year.

Arlington Million (G1)

Not as prestigious as it used to be, the Million is still among the top turf races going 1 ¼ miles.

Set Piece, a 7-year-old gelding trained by Brad Cox, was taken back early and last of 11 before shifting out midway on the far turn and circling the field seven wide. Santin made a bid in the stretch, briefly took the lead, but Set Piece drew away under Florent Geroux.

It was the first Grade 1 victory for Juddmonte-owned Set Piece, who won the Arlington Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on June 3 and finished third in the Wise Dan (G2) at Ellis Park on July 1 in his two previous starts.

Adhamo, the 4-1 favorite was third. Winning time was a track record 1:58.19.

Secretariat (G2)

Gigante, the longest shot in the field at 22-1, came through by taking the lead with a furlong to go and holding off favorite Naggiroc by a neck.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the 3-year-old Virginia bred returned a handsome $47.80 on a $2 win bet. Silver Knott was third.

Winning time for the race for 3-year-olds was 1:35.10.

“It seemed to me there was a lot of speed in the race,” Castellano told “I tried to use my patience early in the race. When the gates opened, he broke so well, and he put me in good position.”

Gigante was among the few horses familiar with the Colonial Downs surface – this was his fifth race over the track.









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