Catch a Glimpse Sparkles on Stars & Stripes Card
By Tom Pedulla, courtesy of America's Best Racing
ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Mark Casse and his son, Norm, knew that Catch a Glimpse was good. She took a seven-race winning streak into the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park that included a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
But the 1 ¼-mile distance loomed as a huge question in addition to how she might handle world-class competition as a 3-year-old. She responded in a big way.
Catch a Glimpse snared the early lead, dispatched Ireland’s Coolmore on the far turn, and withstood a tremendous late surge by Time and Motion by a neck to earn the second Grade 1 triumph of her career.
“We thought we would find out today what she really was,” said Norm. “Now, the sky is the limit.”
Catch a Glimpse, a daughter of City Zip who was purchased for $75,000 at 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale, is undefeated since she ran fifth in her debut on a sloppy track at Saratoga Race Course last July 30 in a 5 1/2- furlong contest that came off the turf. She had never been required to run beyond 1 1/16 miles before Saturday.
“We were happy to answer the question today,” Norm said. “But at the same time, any time anyone had ever pushed her, she went on.”
That is what happened in her latest and greatest test. Although she appeared to be home free for jockey Florent Geroux once she outdueled Coolmore, Time and Motion launched a tremendous rally that had her gaining with every stride under vigorous urging from John Velazquez. Catch a Glimpse dug in, though, leaving Time and Motion to run out of time and ground.
Catch a Glimpse earned an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf since the Belmont Oaks is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series. It spoke volumes about her quality that her time of 1:59.97 was faster than males ran two races earlier in the Belmont Derby Invitational.
“We were in perfect position and everything, but the other horse kept running,” Velazquez said. “She ran hard, but couldn’t get there in time.”
Coolmore settled for third.
In other major stakes results:
The $1.25 million, Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational: Deauville gained his first victory since last July 23 for trainer Aidan O’Brien — and he made it a big one. Jockey Jamie Spencer, starting farthest outside in post 13, hustled Deauville into second position early behind front-running Toughest ’Ombre. He assumed the lead when Toughest ‘Ombre folded and held off Highland Sky’s furious late charge by a neck. Beach Patrol and Camelot Kitten, both conditioned by Chad Brown, ran third and fourth, respectively.
“He was full of energy and had plenty left in reserve for the stretch,” said Spencer. “He’s a hard-trained horse who was ready for the day.” Deauville completed the 1 ¼-mile distance in 2:00.51 on a firm turf course.
Trainer Barclay Tagg thought runner-up Highland Sky fell victim to his running style, which is to come from far back. “He loses a lot of ground every time,” Tagg said. “It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just the way he’s made and the way it works.”
The $500,000, Grade 2 Suburban Handicap: Effinex, rebounding from a perplexing sixth-place finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap, scored a repeat victory in the Suburban to give trainer Jimmy Jerkens his second victory in this 1 ¼-mile race. Effinex overtook Samraat by a neck. Mubtaahij ran third.
Effinex was ridden by Mike Smith, who has been aboard for each of the horse’s last three wins. “The horse settles under him the right way, like you’d like,” said Jerkens. The $500,000, Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes: New York-bred Fish Trappe Road earned his first graded stakes win in his eighth career start by besting favored Economic Model by 1 ¼ lengths.
“He’s matured a lot,” said trainer Bret Calhoun, adding, “It’s all just coming together mentally and physically.” Calhoun indicated the King’s Bishop, on Aug. 27 at Saratoga Race Course, might be the next target.
The $400,000, Grade 3 Sprint Championship: A.P. Indian, trained by Arnaud Delacour and ridden by Joe Bravo, upset favored Private Zone to close the spectacular racing card. He nipped Marking by a head with Ready for Rye taking third. Front-running Private Zone weakened to fourth.
The $150,000, Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes: Lightly raced Coppa, ridden by Joe Talamo, continued to show promise by venturing far from her West Coast base to gain her first graded stakes victory in only her third career start.
“She handled shipping cross-country unbelievably,” said Chris Davis, assistant to trainer Phil D’Amato. “She showed her class today in running on a new track. It’s a lot to ask, and she exceeded all the expectations.”