07/09/2016 7:47PM

Catch a Glimpse handles longer distance of Belmont Oaks

Barbara D. Livingston
Catch a Glimpse, under Florent Geroux, wins her eighth straight race in the 1 1/4-mile Belmont Oaks.

ELMONT, N.Y. - When you win seven consecutive races, including beating males, and are perfect over a particular surface, there shouldn’t be a whole lot more to prove.

But Catch a Glimpse came into Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks having to prove she could carry her speed 1 1/4 miles, farther than she had ever run before.

No problem.

Able to get loose on the lead under Florent Geroux, Catch a Glimpse turned back a challenge from Coolmore, opened up a clear advantage in midstretch, and then held off a late run from Time and Motion to win the Belmont Oaks by a half-length. Time and Motion, finished 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Coolmore.

She was followed, in order, by Pricedtoperfection, Harmonize, Auntie Joy, Last Waltz, Noble Beauty, Decked Out, Magnanime, Secure Access, Land Over Sea, and Ballydoyle.

Catch a Glimpse has now won eight consecutive races - all on turf - after losing her career debut in an off-the-turf race last July 30 at Saratoga.

“It speaks volumes about what she can do and what the possibilities are,” said Norm Casse, assistant to his father Mark. “It definitely opens up more avenues for her. I think she’s a horse that deserves a lot of respect and hasn’t gotten much and now she may get a little more today.”

Despite her stellar record, Catch a Glimpse was sent off the 3-1 second choice behind Ballydoyle, the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly who finished last at 2-1.

Colm O’Donoghue, the rider of Ballydoyle, said his filly “slipped in behind going into the [stretch].” But, he added “she was well-beaten at the time.”

Ballydoyle was expected to get some pace help from Coolmore, who, breaking from the outside post, took a right-hand turn and had to be used by Jamie Spencer to get into second position.

Meanwhile, Geroux had Catch a Glimpse in her customary position at the head of the field. She was clear through a quarter-mile in 24.28 seconds, a half-mile in 49.36, six furlongs in 1:13.87, and a mile in 1:36.70.

Leaving the three-furlong marker, Coolmore made a run at Catch a Glimpse, but Catch a Glimpse turned her aside. Her 3 1/2-length lead at the eighth pole was too much for Time and Motion to overcome.

Catch a Glimpse, a daughter of City Zip owned by Gary Barber, Michael James Ambler, and Windways Farm, covered the 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.87, .64 of a second faster than Deauville’s final time in the Belmont Derby.

“We started the race a little sooner than I thought we would, from the three-eighths pole it was game on,” Geroux said. “Jamie come next to me and tried to win the race trying go by me, but my filly always has something left, it doesn’t matter the distance.”

Casse, who said he had reservations about Catch a Glimpse going this far, said he felt confident once she put away Coolmore.

“As soon as she turned back the other horse going around the far turn I thought we were pretty much home from there,” Casse said. “Once she kicks away from horses she’s hard to run down.”

Catch a Glimpse earned a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in November at Santa Anita.

Time and Motion had her three-race winning streak snapped. Trainer Jimmy Toner was hoping for some pace help, but in the end was resigned to the fact his filly was simply second-best on the day.

Toner said Catch a Glimpse is “a good horse that’s for sure. You don’t get that many 1’s in front of your name without doing something right. I thought they would test her a little bit more but they didn’t. It was up to us to just catch her.”

On turf, nobody has yet.