Classic Empire assistant trainer Norm Casse dreams about winning - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Classic Empire assistant trainer Norm Casse dreams about winning roses with his father

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Trainer Mark Casse and his son Norm saddle two hopefuls for Kentucky Derby 143 in what they hope will be their first Derby win.  Classic Empire is getting a lot of buzz  as the possible favorite, and State of Honor is a solid choice going into the first Saturday in May.  

As assistant trainer, Norm helps lead the family business, so he has a lot of insight into how Classic Empire and their barn is handling the extra media attention.  State of Honor had a good showing in the Florida Derby, but he doesn't have the pedigree that Classic Empire, who is a a half-brother to Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah with The Pioneer of the Nile as their sire.

"He's a really intelligent horse," Norm said. "He's got the moniker of racing's bad boy because he's got some bad antics on the racetrack. But he's a really professional horse in the stall and when he races. And truthfully, things couldn't be going any better, and I think he's really ready for a big race on Saturday."

As for the Casses' other horse, State of Honor, Norm says he's a really talented horse. "I would imagine at the quarter pole he's going to be in front and they're going to have to run him down," Norm said. 

Norm shared his thoughts on what it would mean to win roses and share the honor with his father.  

"It's why we do this," Norm said. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about winning the Derby, and there's nothing I want more."

The team also has a Kentucky Oaks entry with Salty.

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