Terrific Tepin Toys with Churchill Distaff Turf Mile field

May 09, 2016 10:43am
Tepin Distaff Turf Mile 16 615 X 400
Photo: Sue Kawczynski/Eclipse Sportswire


Tepin easily repeated in the $300,000 Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, stalking the early pace before taking over and pulling away at the top of the stretch.


Jockey Julien Leparoux was a bit aggressive with Tepin out of the gate, hustling her a bit early in order to not let Isabella Sings get away with too large a lead. Skimming the hedge, Tepin took up second about 3 lengths behind the expected pace-setter with Zipessa just to her outside in third.


Loose on the lead, Isabella Sings set splits of :23.35 and :46.06 over Churchill Downs's firm turf course. She continued to show the way into the far turn, but behind her, Tepin was steadily cutting into her lead.


As the field turned for home, Tepin seized the lead and steadily drew off from her foes. With a good 100 yards left to the wire, Leparoux peaked over his shoulder to see if anyone was threatening to run down the heavy favorite. With no one even close, Leparoux pointed at Tepin then gave an emphatic fist pump, celebrating through the rest of the stretch. The final margin of victory was 3 1/2-lengths, and the winning time was a strong 1:34.36.


Winning rider Julien Leparoux had nothing but praise for his champion mount. "She's just a champ. She's a very good filly. I'm blessed to be on her. She's the best I've ever rode, that's for sure,” he exclaimed. “She is really just special. Every time you ask her for something she does it even better. Today I didn't want to be too far from Johnny (Velazquez on pacesetter Isabella Sings). I took her a little bit out of her comfort zone, but then she just reacts on the backside and came kicking at the end like she always does."


From the back of the pack, Rainha Da Bateria, who was sporting blinkers for the first time, closed nicely, passing foes in the stretch en route to a second place finish. Cash Control improved position to nab third, and Zipessa rounded out the superfecta.


Javier Castellano, who was aboard the runner-up, stated post race, “The winner was much the best today. I’m really satisfied with the way my filly ran today. She finished really strong and I like the way she galloped out. My filly is going to prove a lot more the rest of the year.”


Bureau de Change ran fifth, She's Not Here was sixth, and Isabella Sings faded to seventh and last after setting the pace.


As the 2/5 betting favorite, Tepin paid $2.60/$2.20/$2.10 for the win. Rainha Da Bateria, off 12-1 odds, returned $6.00/$4.00 for the place, and 15-1 shot Cash Control returned $4.60 for the show. The $2 exacta paid $12.20, the $2 trifecta returned $80.40, and the $1 superfecta was worth $158.20.


Winning trainer Mark Casse left the race in Leparoux's hands. “Honestly I didn’t even say anything to Julien (Leparoux),” Casse stated. “He’s a great rider and he knows her better than anybody. I think that in his mind, I got the feeling that he wasn’t going to let her (Isabella Sings) get as far away. I know that Mr. [Robert] Masterson said to him, ‘You aren’t going to let her get too far away are you?’, but she is just amazing.”


By Bernstein and out of the Stravinsky mare Life Happened, Tepin was bred by Machmer Hall. Owner Robert Masterson picked up his star for a bargain $140,000 out of the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale. Today's Distaff Turf Mile victory was her sixth win in a row and 11th out of 19 career starts. She also has a trio of seconds and a third for total purse earnings of $3,078,253. Previous victories include the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile against the boys, the G1 Just A Game, the G1 First Lady, and the G1 Jenny Wiley.


A trip across the pond to Royal Ascot is the plan for Tepin so long as everything goes well. Trainer Casse said, “I guess we better start figuring out how we do this. As long as she is happy and healthy, the next day or two we’ll map out a plan. So I guess Royal Ascot here we come.”


Casse intends to not ship too early, however. “We’ll start talking about it tomorrow. We’ve already done some blood work in advance. She’s a great shipper. I would say that we would let her go not too early. This is home for her and she likes this racetrack and so we’ll try to stay here as long as we can,” he explained.


 

 

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, which led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation covering racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues and, from time to time, offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry. A move North to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the From Coast to Coast blog for HRN. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband, Chris, and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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