Mark Casse: From The Florida Scene to the Hall of Fame
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

    Here's a little-known fact concerning Mark Casse, who has been inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga and certainly is more than deserving.

    When Mark was about 16, I had a racing newspaper in Ocala called The Florida Scene. I also was the Marion County distributor for Daily Racing Form. I used to get the papers by bus from Tampa and leave them in three places around town for subscribers to pick up. One was at Bonnie Heath's Ramada Inn on highway 27, now a Motel 6, a second was at Frank Smith's convenience store at the Golden Hills Plaza, and the third was on the terrace of Norman Casse's home at Cardinal Hill Farm (now the Ocala Stud annex). 

    When I left the Forms with Joyce Reynolds on Norman's terrace, Mark would come home from school and grab the one marked 'Cardinal Hill.'

    One day, Norman said to me: "You know, you ought to do a story on Mark." I asked him what the reason would be - Mark wasn't an owner, or breeder, and didn't get his trainer's license until the next year. Said the proud papa, "Yes, but he's a great handicapper." 

    Shortly thereafter, Mark Casse was the subject of the lead story in The Florida Scene, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Mark has saddled 2,865 winners, his horses have earned $174,628,624 (ninth all-time), he has amassed 11 Sovereign Awards in Canada, trained four Eclipse Award winners, and last year won the Preakness with War of Will and the Belmont Stakes with Sir Winston. And, he's one of only four trainers to have been elected to both the U. S. and Canadian Halls of Fame, along with Lucien Laurin, Roger Attfield and Horatio Luro. 

    I honestly don't know how Mark could have risen to his present heights without having been introduced to the world of racing in The Florida Scene. I take full credit for it. 




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