September 12, 2015
Source: Blood-Horse (Written by Claire Novak)

Catch a Glimpse offered her rivals barely that in the $200,000 Natalma Stakes (Can-IIT) Sept. 12 at Woodbine, setting the pace and then rolling away to a five-length victory.

The mile turf event for 2-year-old fillies is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” event, granting the daughter of CITY ZIP an automatic berth in the Oct. 30 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT). Trained by Mark Casse, she races for Gary Barber, Michael James Ambler, and Jeff Begg’s Windways Farm.

Under jockey Florent Geroux, the chestnut runner was off to a good start and opened about a two-length lead in the field of 10 while clicking off early fractions of :23.63 and :47.57 through the half, with three-quarters coming in 1:12.11. Although Silky Girl attempted to take a run at her heading into the turn for home, and 8-5 favorite Gamble’s Ghost was closing hard, Catch a Glimpse found another gear and widened away to finish in 1:35.95 on turf rated good.

“I just tried to calm her down; she was very happy,” Geroux said. “When I asked her turning for home, she gave me a very nice kick and won the race pretty easily. She’s not very big but she’s very tough and very fast.”

Off at odds of 8-1, Catch a Glimpse returned $19.80, $6.60, and $4.80. Gamble’s Ghost got up for second and paid paid $3.20 and $2.70, while previously undefeated stakes winner Caren paid $3.80 when finishing three-quarters of a length back in third. Most Inspiring, Know Clouds, Silky Girl, She’ll Do It, Chinchilla Dust, Miss Metropolitan, and Pulled the Goalie completed the order of finish. Paddy Point scratched.

It was the sixth overall Natalma victory for Casse, who won last year with Conquest Harlanate and also took home the 2012, 2011, 2007, and 2006 editions.

Bred in Kentucky by Branch Equine out of the Irish River mare Halo River, Catch a Glimpse was a $75,000 purchase by Begg at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by Warrendale Sales.

“I saw her at Keeneland last year and she looked fast just standing still,” Begg remarked. “I wound up buying her and then Mike and Gary bought a piece of her. She always looked like she’d probably be headed to the turf with her pedigree, and she proved us right. I would expect (we’re on to the Breeders’ Cup). With it in Kentucky this year, there’s a good chance the turf will be similar today with a little give, and she obviously liked it.”

Catch a Glimpse debuted at Saratoga Race Course July 30, but the race came off the grass and she floundered in the slop, finishing a well-beaten fifth in a 5 1/2 furlong sprint. She came off an Aug. 22 allowance score at Woodbine going seven furlongs on the turf, the Natalma prep and her her maiden-breaking score at second asking, to win her first graded stakes while improving her earnings from three starts to $127,352.

“I was surprised how easily she won,” Casse said. “She won pretty impressively. I told anyone that would listen that her last win was more impressive than people were giving her credit for, because I thought she had something left in the tank. When she won that race, she galloped out and took off again.”

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