La Coronel looks to keep Casse juveniles on a roll in Jessamine

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 11th, 2016

After Tepin's surprise loss in last Saturday's First Lady (G1), trainer Mark Casse's weekend at Keeneland ended on a higher note when juvenile performers Classic Empire and Keep Quiet captured the Breeders' Futurity (G1) and Bourbon (G3), respectively. On Wednesday, Team Casse hopes another two-year-old, La Coronel, can earn her ticket to the Breeders' Cup in the $150,000 Jessamine (G3).

The 1 1/16-mile Jessamine, a prep for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), is the final "Win & You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita on November 4-5, and has attracted a full field of 14.

Unplaced as the favorite in two dirt sprints to start her career, La Coronel perked up considerably when trying the turf at Saratoga on September 5. The daughter of Colonel John powered home a four-length winner of a maiden, defeating next-out winners New Money Honey, who captured the Miss Grillo (G3) at Belmont, and Starr Bear.

"We are really high on her," Casse said Monday.

The 3-1 morning line favorite is Lull, who recovered from a fall in a stakes at Saratoga to land the $343,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies by 1 1/4 lengths for trainer Christophe Clement early last month. Another leading contender that last won at Kentucky Downs is Sweeping Paddy, a Dale Romans-trained daughter of Paddy O'Prado that romped home a 12 1/4-length winner in her turf debut.

Trainer Chad Brown will start two in the Jessamine. Lipstick City rallied from last in a field of 12 to win at first asking by a neck at Belmont Park on September 11 going a mile. Her stablemate, Liberale, invades from France where she won on debut at Vichy and then finished fifth of six in the Prix d'Aumale (G3) at Chantilly.

Zero Zee scored a 19-1 upset in her Saratoga debut going 5 1/2 furlongs, then endured a difficult trip when disappointing as the favorite in the $75,000 Selima at Laurel. Majestic Bonnie exits a solid third in the $100,000 P.G. Johnson at the Spa, while Tapa Tapa Tapa was most recently sixth in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine to Victory to Victory, a filly she had previously beaten in the seven-furlong prep for that stakes.

Needing some improvement are Majestic Gale and Senora Acero, who ran one-two in the $75,000 Happy Ticket at Louisiana Downs most recently.