06/04/2016 9:22PM

Catch a Glimpse defeats males in Penn Mile


GRANTVILLE, Pa. - The Penn Mile card on Saturday did not start off well for assistant trainer Norm Casse or jockey Florent Geroux as Conquest Serenade clipped heels and fell in the Penn Oaks, the first of four consecutive stakes that began the biggest card of the Penn National racing season.

But everything turned out right in the end as neither Geroux nor Conquest Serenade was injured in the spill and Catch a Glimpse, also trained by Norm's father, Mark, went on to run a powerful race to defeat six male rivals in the $500,000 Penn Mile. For good measure, Airoforce, another Casse runner, finished second in the Grade 3 race.

Geroux also won the $200,000 Mountainview Handicap on S'maverlous for trainer Mike Maker.

Catch a Glimpse went right to the lead in the Penn Mile and Geroux rated her through fractions of 23.99 and 47.96 seconds while being tracked by Giant Run. Catch a Glimpse put Giant Run Away in upper stretch and won by 2 3/4 lengths. As she has done in prior races, Catch a Glimpse finished on the wrong lead.

"All the time she is doing the dirty work on the lead," Geroux said. "I think she just loses her focus in the stretch once she puts the others away."

Casse also was not concerned about Catch a Glimpse's style down the stretch.

"She's becoming more and more professional," Casse said. "I think that's just her, she really hasn't learned to put horses away yet. But she will."

Catch a Glimpse, not an overly big filly, can be high strung at times but she was cool as ice in the Penn National paddock before the race.

"She was so well behaved and calm today it made me kind of nervous," Casse said.

Catch a Glimpse completed the mile in 1:34.39. She paid $5.20 as a surprising second choice in the betting to Beach Patrol, who was making his debut for trainer Chad Brown after being privately purchased following his second-place effort in the American Turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Beach Patrol lagged back in the field early and ultimately finished sixth.

Airoforce, winner of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at 2, has yet  to win in four starts this year but ran a good race in the Penn Mile. Along the inside early, he came outside horses for the stretch run and bested Giant Run for second by a length.

"I thought he ran really well," Casse said. "He's been kind of an enigma but we have him on the right track now. We'll keep him on this surface and he should just keep getting better."

Unbridled Daddy, who finished last, ran an unusual race. He broke outward at the start, raced back in the pack early, made a nice move to reach contention three wide on the far turn, and then drifted out entering the stretch and tired.

Casse said concrete plans would not be made for Catch a Glimpse until it was determined how she came out of this race but he said a possibility would be the Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 9. The Belmont Oaks is a Grade 1, $1 million race at 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Casse said both Catch a Glimpse and Airoforce would return to Kentucky on Sunday. Catch a Glimpse is stabled at Keeneland, "which is a little more quiet," Casse said. Airoforce is based at Churchill Downs.

Catch a Glimpse, a daughter of City Zip, has now won seven straight races after losing her career debut in an off-the-turf sprint at Saratoga last July. She has earned more than $1.2 million.