Edited Gulfstream West Release —– Mark Casse became the 34th trainer in Thoroughbred racing history to win 3000 races Thursday when Live Oak Plantation’s Souper Watson scored a decisive 1 ¾-length victory in Race 3 at Gulfstream Park West.
The 59-year-old native of Indiana, who was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame earlier this year, watched the milestone win on TV from his Ocala, FL farm.
“It feels good. I watched it with my son, Colby, and we gave each other high-fives and celebrated,” Casse said. ‘I’m happy to be able to do it for [Live Oak Plantation’s] Mrs. [Charlotte] Weber.”
Nick Tomlinson, Casse’s South Florida-based assistant trainer, saddled Souper Watson ($17), who graduated under jockey Miguel Vasquez while coming off a 6 ½-month layoff in the 7 ½-furlong maiden special weight race on turf.
“[Training] is something I’ve just wanted to do my entire life. Milestones mean a lot. This has made me think back over the years,” Casse said. “I went through a period of seven or eight years where I didn’t train many horses. We kicked back in, I want to say, 20 years ago. When we won 1000, I said, ‘Well, that was nice.’ Then, when we won 2000, I said, ‘I don’t think there will be 3000.’ I don’t know if there will be 4000. We’ll see.”