Escaping injury in the evening’s first race when his mount fell after clipping heels, jockey Florent Geroux came back to win two stakes at Penn National Saturday night, including the featured $500,000 Penn Mile (G3) aboard Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse.
The only filly in a field of seven three-year-olds, Catch a Glimpse turned in a front-running clinic on the firm turf. Setting sensible fractions of :23.99, :47.96, and 1:11.39, Catch a Glimpse had plenty left in the stretch and encountered no serious challenges from the back as she led home fellow Mark Casse-trainee Airoforce by 2 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:34.39. Giant Run finished third while 7-5 favorite Beach Patrol ran sixth.
The 8-5 second choice, Catch a Glimpse paid $5.20.
“The horse is becoming more professional,” assistant trainer Norm Casse said. “We like to take it one race at a time, so we’ll get her back to Kentucky and map out a plan (for her next start).”
Owned by Gary Barber, Michael James Ambler and Windways Farm, Catch a Glimpse remains undefeated in seven career starts on turf. After taking the Natalma (G2) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at two, she kicked off the current term with wins in the Herecomesthebride (G3), Appalachian (G3), and Edgewood (G3).
Geroux’s first stakes win of the night came in the $194,240 Mountainview H., when he guided New Orleans H. (G2) winner S’maverlous to a 2 1/2-length score in a time of 1:49.55 on the fast main track.
The 13-10 favorite in a field of five, S’maverlous paid $4.60. Red Rifle finished second and longshot pacesetter Charitable Annuity held on for third.
Owned by Gata Racing Stable and trained by Mike Maker, S’maverlous was a $32,000 claim by the connections last September. The six-year-old Tiz Wonderful gelding has now won four times since, including a two-length upset at 20-1 in the New Orleans at Fair Grounds March 26. He preceded this victory with a fifth-place effort in the April 23 Charles Town Classic (G2).
Sweet Victory improved her stakes record to two-for-two with a 1 1/2-length score in the $194,300 Penn Oaks under Javier Castellano.
Rated in third early, the Blame filly bid for the lead in upper stretch and drove clear to beat 17-10 favorite Pricedtoperfection in a time of 1:34.68 for a mile on the turf.
Outsider Art was elevated to the show spot after Involuntary, who crossed the wire in third, ducked in at the eighth pole and clipped heels with the tiring pacesetter Conquest Serenade. That filly fell, but both she and jockey Florent Geroux left the course unhurt. Involuntary was placed last.
Owned by George Bolton and Peter Leidel and trained by Todd Pletcher, Sweet Victory paid $8.
After breaking her maiden at Gulfstream Park West last November, Sweet Victory went unplaced in her next two starts but finally broke through at the allowance level in an April 17 at Gulfstream. She followed up with a victory in the $75,000 Honey Ryder at the same track May 17.
In the race after the Penn Oaks, beloved 10-year-old warrior Ben’s Cat had to settle for third behind Take Cover, who captured his stakes debut in the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup over five furlongs on the turf.
The 9-2 fourth choice in a field of seven, Take Cover improved position from fourth as Boot Scootn Daddy and Spring to the Sky dueled through the opening three furlongs. Under Joe Bravo, Take Cover narrowed Spring to the Sky’s lead to a head at the eighth pole and got past late to win by a half-length.
Owned by Colts Neck Stable and trained by Alan Goldberg, Take Cover completed the course in :56 and paid $11. Spring to the Sky was a length ahead of Ben’s Cat, the 13-10 favorite seeking his second win in the race.
Initially with Bill Mott and then Steve Asmussen, Take Cover broke his maiden for the latter conditioner at Fair Grounds in March, and most recently captured an allowance at Laurel by three lengths in his debut for Goldberg.