On the morning of the Kentucky Derby, Team Casse woke with nerves that rivaled that of a child on Christmas morning, assistant trainer Norman Casse said. The team stayed busy racing other horses throughout the day, and around 6pm they began the "walk over" to the paddock, where the horse gets saddled and the jockey mounts. Jockey Julien Leparoux rode the team's Danzig Moon. The contenders gained speed along the final stretch, but finished fifth, with American Pharaoh placing first. "I'm going to spend my entire life trying to figure out how to win the Kentucky Derby at a pretty regular rate," Norman Casse said. "I want more, but this was a good start," echoed his father, head trainer Mark Casse. Check out the rest of the series below.
The day before the Kentucky Derby, Casse Racing was busy prepping horses for races throughout the day. Assistant trainer Norman Casse said they must treat Derby Day, May 2, as any other racing day. But Casse admitted to having a superstition he can't shake. “My only superstition is that I have what I would call 'unlucky ties', he said. “If I'm wearing a tie that hasn't won a race, I'll just throw it away.” As of Friday, May 1, Casse's competitor Danzig Moon's odds are 19:1.
Julien Leparoux returns to the Kentucky Derby for the eighth time, where he will ride Danzig Moon out of gate 5, with 30:1 odds. The 31-year-old Frenchman said being at this race "is a dream come true."
Danzig Moon's assistant trainer Norman Casse is a third generation horseman, who learned the trade from his father Mark Casse. For the younger Casse, following in his father's footsteps wasn't always a given. But today, he can't imagine doing anything else. This is the second year the father-son team will be at the start line of the Kentucky Derby, this time with longshot Danzig Moon.
The odds are not in Danzig Moon's favor at this weekends Kentucky Derby. He'll be running on home turf, but that won't be enough for the horse. The trainers on Team Casse are hoping Danzig Moon's knack for long distances will make their underdog a winner.
Norman Casse is a third generation horseman. This year, his family's business, Casse Racing, has the opportunity to send 40/1 longshot Danzig Moon to the gate of the Kentucky Derby. "This will be our third derby starter," Casse said, though only the second since he has directly participated as an assistant trainer to his father, Mark Casse, lead trainer. After Danzig Moon finished second place at Blue Grass, the underdog is poised for a strong performance this Saturday. Check back for daily updates on Danzig Moon and Casse Racing.