LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 12, 2016) – John Oxley’s La Coronel swept past Lull at midstretch and drew off to a 4¼-length victory in the 26th running of the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) for 2-year-old fillies before a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 11,130.
Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Florent Geroux, La Coronel covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:43.37 and earned a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.
It marked the third consecutive stakes victory for Geroux, who swept the Sunday stakes on I’m a Chatterbox in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and Keep Quiet (FR) in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3).
La Coronel, a Keeneland sale graduate, also gave Casse his third “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup qualifier, joining Keep Quiet and Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Classic Empire, also owned by Oxley.
Longshot Divine Humor led the field of 12 through fractions of :22.89 and :47.37 with Lull tracking in second with La Coronel just behind racing along the rail. Lull took over going into the far turn with La Coronel also taking up the chase while moving off the rail and taking over at midstretch.
The victory was worth $90,000 and increased La Coronel’s earnings to $144,615 with a record of 4-2-0-0 with both wins coming in two starts on the grass.
La Coronel is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Colonel John out of the Chester House mare Listen.
Sent off as the favorite, La Coronel returned $5.80, $4.20 and $3. Lull, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., returned $5.40 and $4.80 and finished 1¾ lengths in front of Rum Go who paid $17.40 to show under James Graham.
Sweeping Paddy finished another 1½ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Majestic Bonnie, Liberale (FR), Tapa Tapa Tapa, Lipstick City, Majestic Gale, Wicked Lick, Zero Zee and Divine Humor.
Racing resumes Thursday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Quotes from the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3)
Mark Casse (winning trainer of La Coronel)
“Norman (my son and assistant) has done a good job with this filly. This filly is kind of excitable. He got her ready for this today, so my hat’s off to him.”
On whether she will race in the Breeders’ Cup by virtue of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine victory, a “Win and You’re In” race for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1)
“I think we’re in. When she broke her maiden at Saratoga, Florent came back and said, ‘We have another Catch a Glimpse.’ So we were excited (by her victory today).”
Florent Geroux (winning rider)
“When you ride good horses, they make it easier for you. (We had a) good trip; she put me exactly where we needed to be. When I asked her down the lane, she just exploded. Very nice turn of foot, and that was it. When I pushed the gas, it was just a matter of how far she was going to win by.”
Brian Hernandez Jr. (rider of runner-up Lull)
“We had a good trip. It looked like there would be a little more speed on paper, but nobody (else) went to the front. We followed the longshot most of the way around. Turning for home I thought I was on the best horse but we got outkicked. I knew (winner La Coronel) was there and I thought I would have enough horse to outsprint her but we couldn’t today.”
James Graham (rider of third-place finisher Rum Go)
“I was a little wide but drawing the 10 hole, I got around (the other horses) as best I could. She ran a good race. The other horse quickened well in front of me. I thought maybe I could get second, but the wire just came too quick.”