Casse 'Springs' 48-1 Shocker in Natalma S.

(from Woodbine report)
First time starter Sprung pulled off a 48-1 shocker Sunday at Woodbine in the $163,200 Natalma Stakes (Can-III) for 2-year-old fillies on the turf.

The result lit up the tote board. Sprung paid $98.60, $40.10, and $17.70--combining with stablemate Quiet Action ($10.70, $6.60) for a $707.20 exacta. A.P. Reality ($5.10) helped fashion a huge $21,713.40 trifecta payout.

Ridden by Emile Ramsammy, Sprung left from the outside post but was dropped over to the inside for much of the one mile event.

Facing a wall of horses turning for home, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Grand Slam somehow found some room on the rail mid-stretch and took dead aim at the leaders, Quiet Action and A.P. Reality, who were waging a battle up front.

In the closing strides, Sprung collared the leaders and swept under the wire three-quarters of a length to the good. Quiet Action had a nose on A.P. Reality for second, while Poetic Fan was fourth. The final time over a 'good' E.P. Taylor Turf Course was 1:35.30.

Mark Casse trained the top two finishers, but regular stable rider Patrick Husbands opted to handle Quiet Action off her impressive maiden score on the grass six weeks ago. Ramsammy picked up the mount on Sprung.

Meanwhile, the 2-1 favorite, Tremendous One - a Todd Pletcher trainee with Chris DeCarlo aboard - was well back early, fanned very wide coming into the stretch before eventually finishing 10th.

"She's (Sprung) had plenty of practice," said assistant trainer Ricky Griffith, deputizing for Casse, who was in Kentucky. "Lots of schooling in the mornings, but she kind of sprung a surprise on everybody."

"Patrick Husbands said she was a really nice horse," said an elated Ramsammy. "He said he would like to be riding her, but he couldn't ride both of them."

It was the second Natalma win for Ramsammy, who also guided Fearless Flyer to victory in 2004, but the first for Casse and owner Woodford Racing LLC, who purchased Sprung for $55,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

Named for the dam of Northern Dancer, the Natalma was worth $90,000 to Sprung, who now has already 'won herself out' in one start.

Following Poetic Fan was Sativa, Play Mizzty for Me, Catch the Thrill, Dancer's Fan, Love Iz War, Tremendous One, Palace Pier, Gilded Arrow, and Honey Treat.

(Chart, Equibase)