Catch a Glimpse’s again the one to catch in Lake Placid

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August 18th, 2016

A star three-year-old filly aims to prolong her unbeaten sequence at Saratoga. Chances are you thought of champion Songbird in Saturday’s Alabama (G1). But one day after Songbird struts her stuff on dirt, Catch a Glimpse will try to keep her turf record unblemished in Sunday’s $300,000 Lake Placid (G2).

Since tiring to fifth in her off-the-turf debut here in the slop, Catch a Glimpse has been untouchable while compiling an eight-race winning spree on the lawn. Seven of those are graded stakes trophies, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) that netted her Canadian Horse of the Year, turf female, and two-year-old filly Sovereign Awards; the June 4 Penn Mile (G3) over males; and the July 9 Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) over 1 1/4 miles, where Time and Motion’s furious rally fell a half-length short.

Catch a Glimpse’s most effective weapon is her tactical speed. Although content to stalk and pounce if someone wants to serve as a target, the Mark Casse trainee is just as happy to set the pace herself. Hence she puts herself in the proverbial catbird’s seat every time – an advantage that her off-the-pace opponents just haven’t been able to negate so far.

And the Lake Placid once again appears to set up perfectly for her on paper: barring a surprise change in tactics, none of her six rivals figures to show much dash, leaving Catch a Glimpse as the lone speed. Having silenced her stamina doubters by carrying her speed 1 1/4 miles in the Belmont Oaks, the City Zip filly cuts back to 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf Sunday. Regular rider Florent Geroux will know how to make the most of it from post 2.

Belmont Oaks runner-up Time and Motion won’t have as much ground to work with in the Lake Placid. But from a weight perspective, Time and Motion meets Catch a Glimpse on better terms: she’s getting four pounds from the heavy favorite and 122-pound highweight. On the upswing this season, the daughter of Tapit had previously won three straight, notably the Memories of Silver and the Wonder Again (at this 1 1/8-mile trip). Interestingly, both race namesakes were also successful in the Lake Placid – for none other than Time and Motion’s connections, Phillips Racing Partnership and trainer Jimmy Toner. The rail-drawn Time and Motion projects a ground-saving trip from just off the pace with John Velazquez.

Also coming out of the Belmont Oaks is fourth-placer Pricedtoperfection, who outperformed her 36-1 odds. One of two representing Chad Brown, Pricedtoperfection scored her stakes victory in the Sweetest Chant (G3) at Gulfstream Park back in January. She subsequently dead-heated for third behind Time and Motion in the Memories of Silver and rallied for second in the Penn Oaks. Irad Ortiz Jr. is back aboard the confirmed closer.

Brown’s other runner, Elysea’s World, was no match for Time and Motion when sixth in the Wonder Again. But the import moved forward next time to finish a strong second to unbeaten stablemate Ancient Secret in the July 22 Lake George (G2) on opening day at the Spa. By Champs Elysees and out of a Singspiel mare, Elysea’s World should appreciate the extra half-furlong here. A better pace scenario would help even more, but she does keep Javier Castellano in the irons.

Irish invader Diamond Fields literally couldn’t keep Junior Alvarado in the irons in the Lake George, where she appeared an unlucky eighth after her saddle slipped. The Tommy Stack pupil had brought useful form to the Spa, having placed to Aidan O’Brien’s colt Washington DC at Navan and finished second in Royal Ascot’s Sandringham. If she has no wardrobe malfunction here, Diamond Fields can gain compensation. Alvarado, who had her well placed throughout last time, is game to try again Sunday.

An intriguing newcomer to the graded ranks is the Shug McGaughey-trained My Impression, who steps up in class off her first stakes win in the July 6 Christiana at Delaware. The Stuart Janney III homebred was only fifth to Time and Motion in the Memories of Silver two back, but the experience may have served her well. A graded placing would enhance her broodmare value, and she’ll be within striking range of Catch a Glimpse early.

Hall of Famer Jonathan Sheppard adds blinkers to Outsider Art in hopes of helping her to a breakthrough. Third to Catch a Glimpse in the Appalachian (G3) at Keeneland in April, she’s still been stuck on bronze when third to My Impression in the Christiana and more recently in the Lake George. Outsider Art gets in with 114 pounds, making her one of the lightweights along with Elysea’s World and Diamond Fields.

Photo courtesy of NYRA/Coglianese Photography