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Zipse At The Track

No Easy Assignments for Miss Temple City

Miss Temple City wins 2016 Maker's 46 Mile
Photo: Keeneland

In her seasonal debut, Miss Temple City was asked to run against boys for the first time. That assignment came in the form of the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland. Her second start was likely even tougher. Traveling across the Atlantic to face off against 13 others in a Group 2 event at Royal Ascot is serious business. Add in the fact that she caught the first soft turf condition of her career, and the difficulty level was raised even higher. Back home in America, the four-year-old daughter of Temple City is ready to make her third start of 2016, and if you thought her connections would find an easier spot for her return, think again. Saturday’s Grade 1 Diana has come up as salty as the ocean she flew over twice last month. Somehow, for Miss Temple City, the ask never seems to be too much.


"I've been very happy with how she's come back from England, otherwise I wouldn't be racing her," says her Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Graham Motion. "She's had a good month and I couldn't be happier with her. You wonder if the trip might affect her, running against those conditions. But I don't see any negative effects that it's had on her. I felt like when she came back to America, I targeted the Diana, and everything fell into place."


That’s good, because Miss Temple City is not the only graded stakes winner in the Diana field. As a matter of fact, every filly and mare in the ten-horse field is a graded stakes winner. That’s right -- all of them. You can see why salty is what I say about this Saratoga feature. Alas, there simply are no easy assignments for Miss Temple City.


She’s not one to back down either. You will not get very far in counting up her disappointing performances. Zero is the total. She’s never finished out of the money in the States, and her two races at Royal Ascot, in which she finished fourth both times, are actually amongst the best of her career. That’s saying something considering her many outstanding efforts in America. Of them, none were finer than her first as an older filly.


You may argue that the Maker's 46 Mile was not the strongest of Grade 1 races this year, but I’m here to tell you that if you believe horses like Heart to Heart, Tourist, and Shining Copper are chump change, you’re kidding yourself. See for yourself. Miss Temple City came back bigger, stronger, and more powerful than the very good turf filly we saw last year.

Owned in partnership by Sagamore Farm, Needle In A Haystack, and The Club Racing, Miss Temple City did not get the publicity before or after Royal Ascot as did Tepin, and for good reason. That mare is a national treasure. However, the race Miss Temple City ran there is further proof that she is one of the best turf horses in America. On a turf course likely quite a bit softer than she prefers, or certainly than she is accustomed to, she was done no favors by the trip. Steadied early, stuck behind horses while lacking room, farther back than her norm, shifting out while the leaders are already in their sprint to the wire, her fourth place result was actually very good.


Now Miss Temple City comes to Saratoga for one of America’s most prestigious turf races for the fairer set. Nine furlongs on the lawn, with a purse of $500,000, the Diana would equal her most important career victory to date. Of course, she needs to win it first. In her only previous start at Saratoga, she finished second in last summer’s Grade 2 Lake Placid. In my opinion, it was another of those very good Miss Temple City performances, by the then three-year-old filly. Watch as she presses the pace while wide all the way around. Sure, she could not hold off the late charge of the classy Sentiero Italia, but it was still an excellent effort.

We’ve grown to expect these type of performances from Miss Temple City. Why? Because she fires big every time. What more could you ask from a racehorse? Still, I believe her to be somewhat underappreciated for as good as she really is. In order to get over this, she will need to win some more big races. With Drayden Van Dyke set to ride, the Diana is a perfect place to start. With the likes of Dacita, Wekeela, Recepta, and Isabella Sings in there, just to name a few, this is the third extremely difficult assignment in as many starts for the consistent filly in 2016. I for one, like her chances.



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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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