05/05/2017 5:38PM

La Coronel leads one-two finish for Casse in Edgewood Stakes

Joe Labozzetta
La Coronel (left) defeats stablemate Dream Dancing by a half-length in the Grade 3 Edgewood Stakes.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -  As his two 3-year-old filly turf specialists La Coronel and Dream Dancing came to the finish line heads apart, clearly in front of the rest of the field, in Friday’s $150,000 Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs, trainer Mark Casse said to himself “Maybe I should have just run one of them.”

As things turned out, only a dead heat would have been a better result in the Grade 3 Edgewood for Casse and owner John Oxley after La Coronel registered a half-length decision over her stablemate Dream Dancing despite a wide trip under jockey Florent Geroux.     

Casse had originally planned on running La Coronel against 3-year-old males in Saturday’s Grade 2 American Turf. But after La Coronel drew the extreme outside post in a field of 11 for the American Turf, Casse called an audible, deciding instead to run both his talented fillies in the 1 1/16- mile  Edgewood.

La Coronel began from post 12 in the Edgewood and was hung wide the entire trip, racing in mid-pack early before launching her bid into the stretch. She remained out in the middle of the track while continuing her rally through midstretch, ultimately running down her stablemate nearing the wire.

Dream Dancing, who finished fourth, nearly four lengths behind La Coronel in the Appalachian last month at Keeneland, lagged further off the pace through the early going, angled inside to gain a short advantage after overtaking Sweeping Paddy near the sixteenth pole but could not contain the winner at the end. 

Sweeping Paddy prompted the early pace, edged clear near the inside leaving the furlong grounds, but proved no match for the Casse pair at the end.

La Coronel, a daughter of Colonel John, covered the distance over a soggy turf course officially rated as “good” in 1:45.46. The entry paid $4.

“I was already to run La Coronel against colts until she drew the bad post. I never intended to run her today.” said Casse. “But we want to take her to Ascot, so I figured maybe trying her on a course with a little give in the ground would be a good idea. I wasn’t concerned about her handling the wet course, what I was concerned about was her being wide around the first turn, wide down the backside and wide around the final turn. But she’s so good, she was able to overcome it.”

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Casse also praised Dream Dancing, ridden by Julien Leparoux, even in defeat.

“She ran great,” said Casse. “Julien said last time ‘I’m gonna beat that other filly [La Coronel] next time’ and I said I don’t know about that. And I said to him after the race today, you had the perfect trip, she didn’t, and she still beat you.”

Casse said the Group 1 Coronation for 3-year-old fillies going a mile on June 23 at Royal Ascot would be next for La Coronel, while the Belmont Oaks will be the next major goal for Dream Dancing.