Ontario-sired and -bred MISS SPEEDY returned from an eight-month layoff on March 31 at Gulfstream Park and scored a thrilling win in an allowance/optional turf dash in a career best effort.

A multiple stakes winner in Ontario, Miss Speedy, by Souper Speedy – Miss Dorothy by Stormin Fever, was ninth away from the gate in the 5-furlong dash and some seven lengths off a fast pace early in the race.  Ridden by Gulfstream Park’s leading rider, Irad Ortiz Jr., Miss Speedy turned on the jets and caught up to win in 54.74 for a 91 Beyer Speed Figure. That was the best Beyer Figure of her 14-race career.

The win was one of three on the final day of the Gulfstream Championship meet for trainer Mark Casse, who also won the Cutler Bay Stakes on Mar. 30 with Set, owned by Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbreds. Barber also owns Miss Speedy, having purchased a share in the filly from owners Ryan and Barry Kerbel in the summer of 2021 following an impressive career debut at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Bred by Linda Mason, Miss Speedy won the  Duchess Stakes that year but then missed a year of racing until the fall of 2022. Last winter she was purchased outright by Barber and she won the Ballade Stakes and was second in the Whimsical Stakes (G3). This weekend’s win was the sixth of Miss Speedy’s career and she has earned $330,479.

Casse’s other winners on Sunday included his own Boomin Belle in a starter allowance and Creed’s Gold, owned by Kristin Meldahl in a maiden special weight.

Barber also celebrated a win in Dubai on World Cup day when FACTEUR CHEVAL (Ire) won the $5 million Dubai Turf (G1) on Mar. 30. The gelding, owned in part by Team Valor International, won the 1 1/8 mile turf race by half a head over Namur. Trained by Jerome Reynier, Facteur Cheval was winning for the first time since October 2022. The five-year-old by Ribchester was second in a pair of Group 1s last year, the Sussex and QE II Stakes.

The Dubai Turf had a crowded stretch run that resulted in a fatal fall for the popular gelding Catnip, trained by Michael Stidham for John and Susan Moore.


Sticking with Dubai, the victory by TWO RIVERS OVER in the Grade 2 Godolphin Mile was big news for his sire, the Ontario-based TAMARKUZ. Standing at Ballycroy Bloodstock in Loretto, ON, Tamarkuz, with just four crops to race, was siring his second graded stakes winner. Two Rivers Over, who won the Zia Park Derby in November, was sent to Dubai by trainer Doug O’Neill and the four-year-old rallied in time to win the $3.6 million race, earning $581,197. Coincidentally, Tamarkuz, a son of Speightstown, also won the Godolphin Mile and is currently Canada’s leading living sire by progeny earnings.


One-time Queen’s Plate favourite MESSIER appeared to be finally getting his first win in more than two years when he crossed the finish line in front after the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct on Mar. 30. The son of Empire Maker, a two-time graded stakes winner in California in 2021 and 2022 for trainer Bob Baffert, was making his second start for his latest trainer, Richard Dutrow. Unfortunately for Messier, he was deemed guilty of interference in the stretch run in a controversial call by the stewards. Messier was placed second to 54-to-1 short Laughing Boy.


Grade 1 winner FEV ROVER (Ire), the probable Horse of the Year coming up at the April 18 Sovereign Awards, had her first workout of 2024 when breezing three furlongs at Woodbine on the Tapeta on Mar. 31 in 36.20. Trained by Mark Casse for Tracy Farmer, Fev Rover won the E.P. Taylor Stakes and Beverly D. in 2023. The now six-year-old has six wins in 20 races and earnings of $1.2 million.