One of last year’s Breeders’ Cup juvenile turf winners, Oscar Performance, finished out of the money in his season debut last week at Keeneland. On Thursday, eleven three-year-old fillies will attempt to inflict a similar result on the other Breeders’ Cup juvenile turf winner, New Money Honey, in the $125,000 Appalachian (G3).
A half-length winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita following a score in the Miss Grillo (G3), the Chad Brown-trained New Money Honey will have a rematch in the one-mile grass test with two fillies she vanquished in California. Coasted, second in the Breeders’ Cup after trailing early, has had the benefit of a run when finishing a neck behind Dream Dancing in the Herecomesthebride (G3) on March 4. The other is La Coronel, sixth as the 4-1 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup and second by a neck as an odds-on choice in the March 11 Florida Oaks (G3) in her season debut.
Mark Casse, who won the 2016 Appalachian with Breeders’ Cup winner Catch a Glimpse, trains both La Coronel, who impressively won the Jessamine (G3) at Keeneland in October, and Dream Dancing, who is three-for four on the turf but went winless in three dirt attempts last fall.
“I think they have progressed well from two to three,” Casse said. “I can see that La Coronel is bigger and stronger and Dream Dancing, it took me a while to catch on that she was a true turf horse.
“I have felt that La Coronel is as good if not better than Catch a Glimpse, but she has yet to prove it,” Casse added. “Catch a Glimpse had accomplished a lot more by this time last year.”
Also making her season debut is Lull, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juveniles Fillies and runner-up to La Coronel in the Jessamine. She closed out her freshman campaign with a fourth in the Breeders’ Cup after setting the early pace.
The impressive field also includes 2016 Jimmy Durante (G3) winner Journey Home and recent Bourbonette Oaks (G3) heroine Purely a Dream. Also lining up are Bellavais and Morticia, both stakes winners at Gulfstream over the winter, and the allowance-winning Proctor’s Ledge.