Catch a Glimpse is the type who thrives as long as things are on her terms. So as the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year discarded her manners in the Keeneland paddock and then shunned post-parade etiquette by breaking off from the pony, her connections chalked it up to the daughter of City Zip being her usual self.
Catch a Glimpse’s pre-race attitude was nothing compared to her in-race antics in Thursday’s Grade III, $125,000 Appalachian Stakes on the turf. Despite facing a game challenge from Ava’s Kitten in the stretch, Catch a Glimpse held strong to earn a 3/4 -length win in the one-mile race to remain unbeaten in five career starts on grass.
Though she tests trainer Mark Casse and his staff with her flighty ways, Catch a Glimpse has as much raw ability as any horse in the barn. Her win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland last October helped her become an Eclipse Award finalist for champion 2-year-old filly, and her ability to stalk leaders and then come with a knockout kick is something none have had an answer for since she lost her career debut on the dirt at Saratoga last July.
She does it so easily that sometimes she switches back and forth — left lead, right lead — but I think it’s just because she’s not really paying attention because no one is really challenging her.
Jockey Florent Geroux on Catch a Glimpse
“She’s always been a real flighty filly. She’s temperamental, that’s just how it goes,” said Norman Casse, assistant to his father Mark. “It’s not something we get alarmed with because she’s like that all the time.
“She hasn’t really matured in the paddock and those type of things, but as far as a racehorse… in the real body of the race, she’s more relaxed, she’s more ratable. She can let horses that she doesn’t need to chase go and sit back and wait for them to come back to her, and that’s going to be a big advantage going forward.”
Breaking from post No. 7 in the 10-horse field, there was no worry from jockey Florent Geroux as he settled Catch a Glimpse three wide in third while Recognition cut opening fractions of 23.37 and 47.86 over a course rated firm.
When Princess Princess stuck her head in front between horses approaching the far turn, Geroux let the 3-to-5 race favorite out a notch and then went to left-handed urging in the lane to hold off Ava’s Kitten en route to covering the distance in 1:37.27.
“Sometimes at the end (of a race), she gets a little bit bored,” said Geroux, who has ridden Catch a Glimpse in her last four starts. “She does it so easily that sometimes she switches back and forth — left lead, right lead — but I think it’s just because she’s not really paying attention because no one is really challenging her.”
Outsider Art came up to get third.
Owned by Gary Barber, Michael James Ambler and Windways Farm, Catch a Glimpse improved her career earnings to $842,562 and will likely make her next start in the Grade III Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 6.
No one celebrated the filly’s fifth win in her sixth lifetime start harder than assistant trainer David Carroll. Carroll disbanded his stable after nearly a quarter century as trainer to join the Casse Racing operation last month, and his fantasy scenario behind the career shift included moments like what played out Thursday afternoon.
“This is really a dream opportunity. I’m so excited, I’m rejuvenated and I get to work with horses I haven’t been around for a long period of time,” Carroll beamed. “(Catch a Glimpse), she’s just a wonderful filly, she’s a Breeders’ Cup winner. I think I’m in Disney World, I really do.”