• The week’s significant milestones
3,000 Mark Casse
USA: Mark Casse became the 34th trainer in racing history to win 3,000 races in North America on Thursday [Nov 19] when Souper Watson broke his maiden under Miguel Vasquez in the third race at Gulfstream Park West.
Newly inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020, Indiana native Casse largely established his reputation with his exploits at Woodbine in Canada, where he is a 12-time Sovereign Award winner.
“Milestones mean a lot and this has made me think back over the years,” said Royal Ascot-winning trainer Casse, 59, who saddled his first winner at Keeneland in 1979. He has won two Triple Crown races, both in 2019 with War Of Will (Preakness) and Sir Winston (Belmont).
He saddled the brilliant Tepin to a memorable victory in the Queen Anne Stakes in 2016, making him the only US-based trainer other than Wesley Ward to score at Royal Ascot.
73 Marie Velon
France: Having equalled Mickaelle Michel’s single-season record of winners for a female rider in France with her 72nd winner of 2020 at Saint-Cloud on Tuesday, Marie Velon went one better on Jean-Pierre Gauvin-trained Special Appeal on Thursday [Nov 19] at Lyon la Soie. The 21-year-old is seventh in the French jockeys’ title race.
1,000 Hugh McMahon
USA: Maryland-based Hugh McMahon saddled his 1,000th career winner in thrilling fashion as Polished Gal touched off Splendor Gal in the sixth race at Laurel Park on Sunday [Nov 22].
The son of a Doncaster coal miner, the former Scott Lake assistant has held a training licence on his own since 2011. “I’m excited. It’s a significant landmark,” said McMahon, 52. “It’s humbling as well.
“My name is up there but it’s not really me. There are a lot of people that are involved in this, but more than anything it’s God’s gift to us. Everything that we have is a gift.”
1,000 Mark Glatt
USA: Californian-based trainer Mark Glatt reached 1,000 winners when Zestful wired the field under Edwin Maldonado in a nine-furlong allowance race at Del Mar on Friday [Nov 20].
Glatt, 47, started training aged 21 in Washington state before moving south and ending up in southern California in 2000. He saddled his first G1 winner when Collusion Illusion took the Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on August 1.
15 Tyler Gaffalione
USA: Okay, so there can be plenty of races on a single card in the States but former champion apprentice Tyler Gaffalione went on a right old tear-up in the last week at Churchill Downs with 15 winners in a five-day period.
Having ridden trebles on Wednesday and Thursday [Nov 18-19] from just ten mounts at the Kentucky Derby venue – the other four were all second – the 26-year-old surpassed himself with four-timers on Friday and Saturday. Not quite sure what happened on Sunday [Nov 22] as only one of his five mounts obliged.
With a total of 269 victories in 2020, Gaffalione currently stands second to Irad Ortiz (269) in races won.
2,000 Guadalupe Preciado
USA: First-time starter Chub Wagon scored at Parx Racing on Tuesday [Nov 17] to bring trainer Guadalupe Preciado his 2,000th career victory in the US. A member of the Parx Hall of Fame, Preciado came to the States from his native Mexico and began training in 1989.