Hendrie Stakes: Play the Music looks to top Grade 3 chart (again)

Hendrie Stakes: Play the Music looks to top Grade 3 chart (again)

TORONTO, July 3, 2024 – Play the Music chases her third straight Grade 3 stakes score when she takes on 11 rivals in Saturday’s $135,000 Hendrie at Woodbine.

Trained by dual Hall of Famer Mark Casse, the 4-year-old daughter of Mo Town-Hey Little Sister heads into the 6 ½-furlong main track engagement for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, off back-to-back stakes triumphs, the Grade 3 Whimsical, at six furlongs on the Woodbine all-weather course on May 4, and the Grade 3 Royal North, at 6 ½ panels over the E.P. Taylor turf.

“They were two excellent efforts,” said Casse, who is tied for second in North American stakes wins on the season with 27 to date. “It showed her versatility in being able to perform at a high level on two different surfaces.”

Owned by Glassman Racing LLC, Play the Music won at first asking, taking a maiden special weight race at Kentucky Downs in September 2022.

“I thought she won very impressively,” said Casse, who recorded his 100th victory of the season when Dancing N Dixie took the Tepin Stakes on June 29 at Churchill Downs. “After she broke her maiden, we were going to run her in the Jessamine at Keeneland, which is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race. She didn’t get in – the race had overfilled – but that tells you what we thought of her.”

Third in her next start at Keeneland, she finished ninth in her stakes debut, the Glorious Song, at Woodbine, on November 5, 2022.

“We tried in that race at Keeneland, where she went long, a mile and a sixteenth,” said Casse. “That might not have been the best thing for her. She didn’t run well in the Glorious Song, so we decided to give her some time.

“She didn’t run until the following August when she finished fifth at Colonial Downs. We felt that she ran well enough that we could send her to New York. She was second in her first race at Belmont and then won the next time out.”

Play the Music then headed to Gulfstream Park where she posted one win and a pair of thirds in three starts.

“Those races were very good,” praised Casse. “I was very impressed.”

Her first stakes success came in Sunshine State when she took the Lightning City Stakes (Black Type) at Tampa this February.

“I didn’t think they could beat her, and she ran so well that day.”

The bay filly, who has crafted a 6-1-3 mark from 13 starts, to go along with $401,037 in career purse earnings, had a troubled trip in the Giant’s Causeway (G3T) on April 13.

“She had the one-hole and she got roughed up. She had a tough trip. After that, we sent her to Woodbine, and she’s been successful.”

Versatility continues to be the calling card for the $300,000 2-year-old purchase, who was bred in Kentucky by Laura McKinney.

There are two points of view, however, as to what surface, all-weather or turf, Play the Music is best on.

“If you believe (jockey) Patrick Husbands, he will tell you all-weather,” Casse said with a laugh. “But I’m not sure if that is the case. She looks pretty darn good to me on either surface.

“Hopefully, she comes up with another nice performance on Saturday. The owners, Karl and Cathi Glassman, are wonderful people. This is the first horse I have trained for them. I have another one for them, (unraced) Candy Quest, who is a half-sister to Frosted Over. She is one of my better 2-year-olds.”

Casse is no stranger to success in the Hendrie, having won in 2021 with Our Secret Agent, in 2014 with Spring in the Air, 2013 with Delightful Mary and 2012 with Roxy Gap.

Other starters include graded stakes winner Honey Pants, multiple graded stakes-placed Baby No Worries, stakes winners Freedom Speaks, and Unifying, as well as graded stakes-placed Tequilera, and Marissa’s Lady.

First post time is 1:10 p.m. Fans can wager on all the action through HPIbet.com and bet365.com.

Field for the Grade 3 $135,000 Hendrie Stakes

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Awesome Treat – Jose Campos – Steve Attard

2 – Gal in a Rush – Kazushi Kimura – Christophe Clement

3 – Ro Town – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard

4 – Freedom Speaks – Leo Salles – Jose Francisco D’Angelo

5 – Tequilera – Sahin Civaci – Michael Matz

6 – Marissa’s Lady – Rafael Hernandez – William Morey

7 – Dolce Sopresa – Sofia Vives – Josie Carroll

8 – Play the Music – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

9 – Honey Pants – Luis Contreras – Jonathan Thomas

10 – Unifying – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Riley Mott

11 – Owen’s Tour Guide – Ryan Munger – William Armata

12 – Baby No Worries – Eswan Flores – Tim Girten

Chris Lomon, Woodbine

Play the Music and jockey Patrick Husbands winning the HPIbet Royal North Stakes (G3) on June 1, 2024 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
Play the Music and jockey Patrick Husbands winning the HPIbet Royal North Stakes (G3) on June 1, 2024 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, Woodbine Entertainment
Horse Racing - TB
About Woodbine Entertainment

Woodbine Entertainment is the largest horse racing operator in Canada, with Thoroughbred horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, and Standardbred horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton. Woodbine Entertaiment also owns and operates HPIbet, Canada’s only betting platform dedicated to horse racing. Woodbine and Mohawk Park are host to several world-class racing events including The King’s Plate, three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races, and the Pepsi North America Cup. Run without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment has a mandate to financially invest all profit back into the horse racing industry and the 25,000 jobs it supports across Ontario.   

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