La Coronel Gets her Grade I in QEII

La Coronel leads them | Coady

Trainer Mark Casse continued a red-hot run at Keeneland with Oxley colorbearers Saturday as John Oxley's La Coronel (Colonel John) went right to the lead and kept finding in the prestigious GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S. Casse had already saddled Debby Oxley's GI Darley Alcibiades S. heroine Heavenly Love (Malibu Moon) on opening day last week, and John's Flameaway (Scat Daddy) got his nose down in Sunday's rained-off GIII Dixiana Bourbon S.

Given a 5-1 chance in a solid QE II renewal, La Coronel quickly seized the early advantage and doled out splits of :23.81, :48.60 and 1:13.47 while on a loose rein. She was still going strongly past the quarter pole as her closest pursuer Daddys Lil Darling (Scat Daddy) continued to chase, and kept finding under Jose Lezcano's encouragement to deny the GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up by a half-length. Longshot California invader Madam Dancealot (Ire) (Sire Prancealot {Ire}) rounded out the trifecta.

“It was a fantastic race,” said Casse's assistant David Carroll. “Jose rode her beautifully. All the credit goes to [Casse's son and assistant Norm]. She came down to me [from Churchill Downs] during the week. We schooled her [in the Keeneland paddock] and she settled in well.”

He added, “We're just so happy for the Oxleys and for [La Coronel] to get a Grade I win and redeem herself. Some people might have doubted her, but she showed her true colors today. We couldn't be any happier.”

A smashing winner of the GIII Jessamine S. here almost exactly a year ago, La Coronel couldn't overcome a very wide trip in the GI Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and settled for sixth. Second by a neck at odds-on in the GIII Florida Oaks at Tampa on seasonal return in March, she bounced back with a convincing success over Friday's GIII Buffalo Trace Franklin County S. heroine Morticia (Twirling Candy) and three of these returning rivals in April's GIII Appalachian S. Doubling up over stablemate Dream Dancing (Tapit) in Churchill's GIII Edgewood S. May 5, she was far from disgraced when fifth behind Europe's best sophomore fillies in Royal Ascot's G1 Coronation S. June 17. A bit dull for her when fourth behind Proctor's Ledge (Ghostzapper) and Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) in the GII Lake Placid S. at the Spa Aug. 19, she just got tagged late by the latter after setting the pace first time under Lezcano in Belmont's Sept. 16 GII Sands Point S.

“I wanted to go to the lead,” her pilot said. “She was very comfortable there. Last time I rode her, she jumped a little bit early into the bit, but after that she relaxed on the backside. Today she broke and was very comfortable, so I let her be. She was comfortable the whole way around.”

Pedigree Notes:

Out of a half-sister to MGSW Listen Here (Gulch) from the family of MGISW Listening and last year's Grade II-winning grasser Linda (Scat Daddy), La Coronel was by far the priciest juvenile by her sire (by more than double) to sell last year when she provided a nice pinhooking score for Teresa and David Palmer's Winner's Circle Thoroughbreds. Dam Listen's yearling colt by Gemologist brought $235,000 at Keeneland September from SBS III. She didn't produce a foal this spring, but was bred back to Bernardini.

Saturday, Keeneland
QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP S. PRESENTED BY LANE'S END-GI, $500,000, KEE, 10-14, 3yo, f, 1 1/8mT, 1:48.99, fm.
1–LA CORONEL, 121, f, 3, by Colonel John
1st Dam: Listen (GSP), by Chester House
2nd Dam: Listen Now, by Storm Bird
3rd Dam: Listen Well, by Secretariat
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($37,000 RNA Wlg '14 KEENOV; $37,000 Ylg
'15 FTKOCT; $375,000 2yo '16 OBSAPR). O-John C. Oxley; B-Kim
Nardelli, Rodney Nardelli, Susan Bunning, A. Jaffreys & B.
Jaffreys (KY); T-Mark E. Casse; J-Jose Lezcano. $300,000.
Lifetime Record: 12-5-2-0, $754,844. Werk Nick Rating: B+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.[bullet ad=”winners-circle-thoroughbreds-graduate”][bullet ad=”thorostride-new”][bullet ad=”kbif-g1″][bullet ad=”hidden-brook-lc”][bullet ad=”lanes-end-la-coronel”]2–Daddys Lil Darling, 121, f, 3, by Scat Daddy
1st Dam: Miss Hot Salsa, by Houston
2nd Dam: Miss High Blade, by Highland Blade
3rd Dam: Darling Miss Q., by Alydar
O/B-Normandy Farm (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek. $100,000.[bullet ad=”fleetwood-bloodstock-mating-recommendation”]3–Madam Dancealot (Ire), 121, f, 3, by Sir Prancealot (Ire)
1st Dam: Sisal (Ire), by Danehill
2nd Dam: Ship's Twine (Ire), by Slip Anchor (GB)
3rd Dam: Twine (Ire), by Thatching (Ire)
(4,761gns RNA 2yo '16 TATABR; £100,000 2yo '16 GOFLON;
€260,000 2yo '16 GOFFCH). O-Slam Dunk Racing; B-Tally Ho
Stud (IRE); T-Richard Baltas. $50,000.[bullet ad=”stgeorge-md”]Margins: HF, 3HF, 1HF. Odds: 5.10, 9.50, 20.70.
Also Ran: Uni (GB), Beau Recall (Ire), New Money Honey, Dream Dancing, Proctor's Ledge, Con Te Partiro, Unforgetable Filly (GB). Scratched: Wuheida (GB). Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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