World Approval

  • Jockey
    John R. Velazquez
  • Trainer
    Mark E. Casse
  • Owner
    Live Oak Plantation
  • Breeder
    Live Oak Stud
  • Sire
    Northern Afleet
  • Dam
    Win Approval

Live Oak Plantation’s World Approval ($7.40) became the first favorite to win a Breeders’ Cup race Saturday of the 2017 World Championships at Del Mar as he posted a 1 1/4-length victory over Lancaster Bomber in taking the 34th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up. Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by John Velazquez, World Approval covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:34.55.

World Approval, a 5-year-old Florida-bred son of Northern Afleet, registered his third consecutive Grade 1 victory going a mile. He won the Ricoh Woodbine Mile in Canada in September and the Fourstardave at Saratoga in August in his previous two starts. World Approval’s only defeat in six starts in 2017 came when he finished fifth in the Manhattan Handicap in June. The win was the second for Casse in the Mile and fourth overall Breeders’ Cup win. Tepin won the 2015 Mile at Keeneland.

For Velazquez, it was his second victory of the weekend and 15th overall. It was his third victory in the Mile with others coming in 1998 with Da Hoss and 2012 with Wise Dan.

It was also the second win in the Mile for Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation, whose Miesque’s Approval, a half-brother to World Approval, won the 2006 edition.

Midnight Storm and Heart to Heart set a contested pace with World Approval tracking a few lengths off the leaders. Velasquez swung World Approval to the outside on the far turn, collared Heart to Heart at midstretch and drew off. Lancaster Bomber rallied to finish second, a head in front of Blackjackcat.

“I was a little concerned early on because there was so much speed, “ said Casse. “But, this horse came into this race in just great order and he was ready. Norman (Casse, his son and assistant) and his team deserve so much credit for getting him to this point. This is quite a way to cap our last Breeders' Cup together (now that Norman is going out on his own). Maybe now we'll be running in Breeders' Cups against each other. And, it means so much to win this race for Mrs. (Charlotte) Weber. I am so proud to train horses for her and to win this race for her. This is all really very special.”

“He was between horses and switched leads coming down the lane,” said Velazquez. “He always had it for me. Horses like him make you look good. He’s been perfect for me.” 

Three months later, World Approval was named the Champion Turf Horse of 2017.

World Approval opened 2018 in February with a win in the Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, but following unplaced finishes in the Frank E. Kilroe (G1) at Santa Anita and the Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, Casse took him out of training for the remainder of the year. He was officially retired on February 26, 2019.

“How lucky we have been at Live Oak Stud/Plantation to have championed such a winning family,” said owner Charlotte Weber. “I am proud and privileged to have experienced this Sport of Kings with such outstanding racehorses and shall protect them as we grow older together.”

Previous Races

June 16, 2018Wise Dan S.CHURCHILL DOWNS26
March 10, 2018Frank E. Kilroe Mile S.SANTA ANITA PARK15
February 10, 2018Tampa Bay S.TAMPA BAY DOWNS31
November 04, 2017Breeders' Cup MileDEL MAR11
September 16, 2017Ricoh Woodbine Mile S.WOODBINE11
August 12, 2017Fourstardave H.SARATOGA11
June 10, 2017Woodford Reserve Manhattan S.BELMONT PARK15
May 20, 2017Longines Dixie S.PIMLICO21
April 02, 2017EG Vodka Turf Classic S.TAMPA BAY DOWNS 1
October 16, 2016Pattison Canadian International S.WOODBINE18
September 17, 2016Northern Dancer Turf S. Presented by HPIBetWOODBINE13
August 13, 2016Arlington Million XXXIV S.ARLINGTON17
July 03, 2016United Nations S.MONMOUTH PARK11
June 11, 2016Woodford Reserve Manhattan S.BELMONT PARK13
May 07, 2016Woodford Reserve Turf Classic S.CHURCHILL DOWNS12
March 26, 2016Muniz Memorial H.FAIR GROUNDS22
March 05, 2016 GULFSTREAM PARK 1
October 03, 2015Hill Prince S.BELMONT PARK34
September 05, 2015Saranac S.SARATOGA31
August 07, 2015National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S.SARATOGA24
July 11, 2015American DerbyARLINGTON31
May 30, 2015Pennine Ridge S.BELMONT PARK 4
May 02, 2015American Turf S.CHURCHILL DOWNS23
April 04, 2015Sophomore Turf S.TAMPA BAY DOWNS 1
March 14, 2015 GULFSTREAM PARK 1
November 26, 2014 AQUEDUCT 3
October 16, 2014 BELMONT PARK 4