After delivering a juvenile season splendid enough to nail down Canada's Horse of the Year honors last year, at age 3 Catch a Glimpse is only building on her accomplishments.
Gary Barber, Michael James Ambler, and Windways Farm's Catch a Glimpse added another spectacular victory to her résumé July 9 at Belmont Park, holding off all challengers in an international field of 13 to win the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (gr. IT). Watch Video
Catch a Glimpse was guided to the front-running score by Florent Geroux and completed 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.87 on the firm inner turf, a time faster than Deauville's winning run (2:00.51) two races earlier on the same course and at the same distance in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (gr. IT).
Catch a Glimpse is undefeated in eight starts on turf, a record that includes a score in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT). Trained by Mark Casse, Catch a Glipse followed that spectacular debut season with a 2016 campaign, in which she opened with three straight graded stakes wins against females before last month defeating males in the $500,000 Penn Mile (gr. IIIT) on the Penn National Race Course turf.
Starting from an outside post Saturday and stretching out to 1 1/4 miles for the first time proved no problem for Catch a Glimpse. She broke well and glided to a clear lead through a quarter-mile in :24.28 and a half-mile in :49.36.
In the far turn, Coolmore, making her U.S. debut, challenged but Catch a Glimpse quickly responded after six furlongs in 1:13.87. Catch a Glimpse put that rival away—seemingly with a shoulder shrug—and opened a 3 1/2-length lead in midstretch. The City Zip filly then had enough for a strong late run from Phillips Racing Partnership's Time and Motion, who brought a three-race win streak into Saturday's test.
"She broke very well from the gate, and from there. I just kept going as fast as I could," Geroux said. "When I asked her to leave from home, she gave me a good kick and was very brave all the way to the wire. She was the quickest of the race, so it's not like I had an outside post with a horse with no speed. Speed is always dangerous, no matter what the distance."
Norman Casse, assistant to his father Mark Casse, said going into the race they thought the longer distance would be a signifcant hurdle.
"The 1 1/4 miles was a legitimate concern; she had never been beyond 1 1/16 miles," Casse said. "This filly, any time another horse comes to her, she finds another gear and she rewarded our confidence today. This has been a dream come true.
"There's a lot of pressure. This morning I woke up and I was really nervous. But at the end of the day, it's what we wanted, and now we're getting a chance to achieve our dreams. It's very rewarding for dad, and it's very rewarding for me."
With Saturday's half-length score, Catch a Glimpse secured a guaranteed spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) as the Belmont Oaks is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event.
Catch a Glimpse paid $8.80, $5.30, and $4.10 across the board, while Time and Motion returned $5 and $4.30 for the minor awards. Coolmore paid $11.40 to show.
Bred in Kentucky by Branch Equine, Catch a Glimpse is out of the stakes-winning Irish River mare Halo River, who also has produced grade III winner Old Forester, by Forestry. Windways Farm purchased Catch a Glimpse for $75,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale.