Top sophomore turf filly Catch a Glimpse brings seven-race win streak to Belmont Oaks

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July 8th, 2016

Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse has nearly done it all in posting an undefeated record of seven wins from seven starts on turf. Having beaten an international field in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and toppling males last time in the Penn Mile (G3), the Mark Casse-trained star's next goal will be to stretch her speed over 1 1/4 miles, which she will attempt to do Saturday in the $1 million Belmont Oaks (G1).

A win at the distance could prove important for Catch a Glimpse as the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf will be contested over 10 furlongs at Santa Anita in November. The Belmont Oaks is a "Win & You're In" Breeders' Cup challenge event for that race.

"This will be a real test for her as far as distance, but if they let her get comfortable early, she'll be really hard to run down," said assistant trainer Norm Casse. "I think anytime you have a horse that likes to go out early and sit along through moderate fractions, you're at a competitive advantage. Because you stay out of traffic, you're really kind of dictating what's going out in front, how fast the race is setting up really. So anytime you can have a horse do that, it's a huge advantage. The question is just how far she wants to go, that'll be the question mark on Saturday."

Bettors are likely to think a trio of European invaders, two of whom are trained Aidan O'Brien, represent the biggest threats to Catch a Glimpse. Group 1 winner Ballydoyle was second best to division leader Minding in the 1000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket, but only sixth to La Cressonniere in the French Oaks (G1) three weeks ago. Coolmore, a Group 3 winner at two, surprisingly out-finished her stablemate when fifth in the French Oaks following a series of modest efforts dating back to October.

The third of the European trio is the France-based Magnanime, a Listed stakes winner at Chantilly two back and two lengths fifth in the Prix Saint-Alary (G1) at Deauville in her most recent start May 16.

The American contingent outside Catch a Glimpse are no slouches. Time and Motion has won three straight, including two stakes, for noted turf filly conditioner Jimmy Toner, while Chad Brown's trio includes Grade 3 scorer Pricedtoperfection, Regret (G3) runner-up Noble Beauty, and Last Waltz, who has chased Time and Motion, Catch a Glimpse, and Coolmore since last fall.

"Last Waltz is maturing at the right time," Brown said. "She's really been improving each start and each breeze this year. I thought she breezed well on Sunday (five furlongs in 1:02 2/5). She seems to be getting better and the 1 1/4 miles should suit her.

"Noble Beauty is a late bloomer. She definitely outruns her training in the morning. She's a true afternoon horse. She seems like she wants more ground. The race is a lot of money, and she just has to walk out of her stall. No trip. She came out of her Churchill Downs race well."

Grade 3 winner Harmonize adds blinkers following her second to Time and Motion in the $200,000 Wonder Again, while Auntie Joy rebounded from a close second to Catch a Glimpse in the Edgewood (G3) to take the Regret at Churchill.

The deep field of 13 also includes frequent Songbird foil Land Over Sea, who captured the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and ran second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1)prior to a rough-trip sixth in the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico (G2). She broke her maiden at Del Mar in her only previous try on grass.

Even the well-exposed California invader Decked Out might be worth a look stretching out. A sharp winner on soft ground in the Providencia (G3) three back, she appeared to be in need of more ground when fourth in the Senorita (G3) and Honeymoon (G2) in her last two.

Catch a Glimpse photo courtesy of Coady Photography/Churchill Downs