01/06/2016 12:20PM

2015 Eclipse Awards: Catch a Glimpse

Nikki Sherman

Whether it is an illustration of an evolving philosophy amongst the Eclipse Award electorate or random results from a small sample size, one thing still seems clear: The door to the 2-year-old filly championship, once considered the indisputable property of dirt performers, is more open than it ever has been before to a turf specialist.

In order to land the 2-year-old filly title, you have to first be an Eclipse Award finalist. And in the four racing seasons from 2011 through 2014, three winners of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf – Stephanie’s Kitten in 2011, Chriselliam in 2013, and Lady Eli in 2014 – were voted in as finalists for the 2-year-old filly Eclipse Award.

You can now add Catch a Glimpse, winner of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, to this list. And even if Catch a Glimpse doesn’t become the first dedicated turf specialist to win her divisional championship, there is little doubt she deserves to be a divisional finalist.

:: 2015 Eclipse Awards: Finalist profiles

One thing Catch a Glimpse shared with her main-track contemporaries in 2015 is she was just as fast, if not faster than her male counterparts. After Catch a Glimpse proved out of her element in the slop at Saratoga in an off-the-turf race in her debut, she gained her maiden victory on the turf at Woodbine over allowance opponents with an effort her connections insisted was even more impressive than the decisive score due to her strong gallop-out past the finish.

In any event, that victory in her turf debut primed Catch a Glimpse for Woodbine’s Natalma Stakes, the race in which she left no room for interpretation how good she really is. Catch a Glimpse set the Natalma pace and left her competition reeling as she pulled away through the stretch to score by five commanding lengths. Equally important was that Catch a Glimpse covered the mile that day .66 of a second faster than males went the same distance in the Summer Stakes two races later.

The quality of Catch a Glimpse’s victory was not lost on the public when she ran back in the Breeders’ Cup. In a strong Juvenile Fillies Turf field of 14, including two particularly well-regarded shippers from Europe, Catch a Glimpse was sent off only the fourth choice in the wagering. She delivered a game performance under Florent Geroux, turning back one of those formidable European invaders after effectively rating just off the early lead.

It should be noted that Catch a Glimpse’s final time in the Juvenile Fillies Turf was only .22 of a second slower than males went in the Juvenile Turf just two races earlier. However, the early pace in the Juvenile Fillies Turf was substantially slower than it was in the Juvenile Turf, meaning that Catch a Glimpse merits high marks for narrowing the final time gap as much as she did.

Catch a Glimpse’s Breeders’ Cup victory was the first ever for her trainer, Mark Casse, and for her ownership group of Gary Barber, Michael Ambler, and the Windaways Farm of Jeff Begg, who purchased her for $75,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale. Catch a Glimpse is by City Zip, from Halo River, by Irish River, and was bred in Kentucky by Branch Equine.