Trainer Mark Casse isn’t one to tout his prospects in cavalier fashion. So the fact he admitted a case of déjà vu with John Oxley’s La Coronel speaks as loudly to the filly’s ability as her authoritative outing at Keeneland on Wednesday.
“I haven’t seen too many horses that can fly by horses around the turn, especially on the turf,” Casse said. “(Champion) Tepin does it. (Canadian Horse of the Year) Catch a Glimpse does it. And this filly did it when she broke her maiden.”
Add La Coronel to Casse’s overflowing bounty of top turf females and stakes-winning juveniles. Using a similar turn of foot, the daughter of Colonel John surged past Lull in late stretch and finished with gusto under jockey Florent Geroux to win the Grade III, $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes by 4¼ lengths over the Keeneland turf.
When Geroux hopped off La Coronel after she broke her maiden by 4 lengths at Saratoga on Sept. 5 — her first try on the turf after two off-the-board efforts on dirt — he gleefully informed Casse that the dark bay filly was ‘the next Catch a Glimpse.”
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The lofty comparison looked on point in the 1 1/16 -mile Jessamine. La Coronel rated fourth through an opening half-mile in :47.37 before taking command in an effort that likely cements her trip to Santa Anita Park for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 4.
“As long as she’s happy and healthy she’ll go (to Breeders’ Cup),” said Casse, whose barn has won five graded stakes with juveniles in the last five days. “Without sounding cocky, I felt good at the top of the lane. I knew that filly (Lull) was running but I felt that Florent hadn’t asked her to run yet. And she can just take off like that. She is amazing.”
“We ran her a couple times and she ran terrible and (son and top assistant) Norman kept saying to me ‘She’s too good to be not good at something.’ He was right.”
Sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the field of 12, La Coronel hit the wire in 1:43.37 over a firm turf.