State of Honor at Churchill Downs April 21

State of Honor at Churchill Downs April 21

Coady Photography

State of Honor, Salty Breeze for Casse at Churchill

Both 3-year-olds breezed five furlongs April 21.

Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) runner-up State of Honor and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) winner Salty both put in five-furlong moves for trainer Mark Casse April 21 at Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and the May 5 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), getting their works out of the way a day earlier than planned because of storms in the forecast.

Ontario-bred State of Honor, by To Honor and Serve , worked alone and completed the breeze in 1:01 3/5, with splits in :13, :26, :37 2/5, and a gallop out to six furlongs in 1:14 and seven in 1:27 4/5. 

"We decided that we're not going to breeze him with anybody, he kind of gets a little too wound up early," Casse said, adding that the colt will likely breeze once more before the Derby. "He went off slow but he finished up really well, and galloped out strong.

"He likes it," Casse said of how the colt is taking to the Churchill track. "I watched him breeze on Easter Sunday (four furlongs in :49 4/5) and he gets over it really nicely."

Jockey Julien Leparoux was aboard State of Honor for his move before going to Keeneland to work Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) winner Irap

"He went very good," Leparoux said. "He relaxed early and finished up very strong. He felt very good, we were happy with him. 

"He's been running very good all winter ... he tries hard all of the time," Leparoux said of Conrad Farm's homebred colt, who was also runner-up in the Lambolm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and third in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). 

Gary Barber, Baccari Racing, and Chester Prince's Salty worked in company with Barber's Summer Luck. The duo was credited with five furlongs in 1:00 2/5, with splits of :13, :24 4/5, :36 3/5, and a gallop out to six furlongs in 1:13 2/5 and seven in 1:27 3/5.

"(Salty) worked really well. Norman's comment was: 'Wow,' " Casse said of assistant trainer Norm Casse's reaction. "She'll do the same thing, she'll come back with an easy work next Friday. Everything is good."

Reining juvenile champion Classic Empire , who most recently won the Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15, also stretched his legs on the Churchill track Friday morning and is doing well, the trainer said. 

Casse also offered an update on 2015 Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse, who most recently ran off the board in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1T). Casse said there are no immediate plans for the daughter of City Zip but that the Nassau Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine May 27 could be a possible target. The filly won both of her only two starts at Woodbine, including the grade 2 Natalma Stakes as a juvenile. 

"We're thinking that maybe she'll go the Nassau at Woodbine for her next start," he said. "She's good, she's just kind of chilling since her last race."