Royal Ascot beckons for Tepin and Miss Temple City

April 17, 2016 08:42am
Miss Temple City Maker's 46 615 X 400
Photo: Jessica Morgan/Eclipse Sportswire

The allure of the Royal meeting at Ascot is strong. The history, the pageantry, and the quality of horses at Royal Ascot takes a backseat to no other week of racing in the sport. For two of America’s best, Tepin and Miss Temple City, it seems more than just a dream, but rather a date with destiny. The two terrific turf mares each flashed their class and ability on consecutive afternoons at Keeneland, and further fanned the fire for their connections to ship them to Europe to participate in one of the most historic and prestigious turf meetings on the planet. First on Friday, it was the more unheralded of the duo making history.


While her overall resume may fall a fair bit short of that of the reigning Female Turf Champion, Miss Temple City is all class in her own right. Never was this more apparent than on Friday, when she cruised right on by the multiple graded stakes winner Heart to Heart to claim the featured Maker’s 46 Mile. In so doing, the daughter of Temple City and Glittering Tax became the first female ever to win the Grade 1 turf event.


Trained by Graham Motion, Miss Temple City scored the impressive 1 ¼-length victory over a field of eight males while covering the mile over a firm turf course in an excellent 1:34.09. Often knocking on the door while coming out on top only once last year, the biggest win of her career came in her first start as an older filly. It also increased the four-year-old’s earnings to $562,799, with a career record of 10-4-3-2. She has yet to fail to fire in each of those ten lifetime races, but you will notice that she is one in-the-money performance short of being a perfect ten-for-ten at finishing in the top three. That lone fourth place finish actually came last year at Royal Ascot.


Don’t mistake the fourth place finish in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes as a poor effort, though. In fact, the truth is quite the contrary. Miss Temple City hung on doggedly that afternoon at Ascot, ultimately succumbing by a scant two lengths in one of the best events for three-year-old fillies in the world in 2015. It was a tough defeat, but one that proved her ability on an international scale. Note that one of the fillies that beat her that day, Found, came to Keeneland to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf last fall.


This year, the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, at a flat mile on the straight will likely be the race targeted by Miss Temple City. Her English-born trainer feels that the distance of both the Maker’s 46 Mile, and the Duke of Cambridge, might be her best trip. The Group 2 race is set for Wednesday, June 15, and that could be her next start, as Motion would like to bring a fresh filly over.


Meanwhile, the mare that made the Grade 1 race against the males on Friday actually the easier spot, was at it again on Saturday. As good as I thought Miss Temple City was on Friday, Tepin was even better on Saturday. After a strong start to last season, and two heartbreaking defeats at Saratoga, Tepin has been unbeatable. Middle distance turf racing being her canvas, the five-year-old superstar has painted five consecutive masterpieces.


Saturday’s Grade 1 Jenny Wiley attracted a solid field of turf fillies and mare as a supporting cast, but as it happened over the firm turf, and in front of a packed Keeneland house, it was strictly a one-woman show. Tepin was at her authoritative best, simply crushing her competition into submission early in the lane, as has become her norm. I’m running out of superlatives for the sensational mare, who is now a desperate foot or two from winning ten consecutive races. Her five-length victory yesterday could have been the easiest win to date, and that is saying plenty.


While Miss Temple City has experience across the pond, a trip to England would be a first for Tepin. The Mark Casse trained mare has faced several strong Europeans in her career, most notably dispatching a top field in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, but all of her races to date have come in the U.S. I am quite sure the great fans at Ascot will enjoy having the American champion show off her great talent at the hallowed venue. As of now, it looks like Tepin will make one start over Derby weekend, perhaps in defense of her win in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs, or another shot at the males in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve, before a potential trip to England for a run in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 14.


Both top mares have the proven talent to not only run at Royal Ascot, but to win. The past two days at Keeneland were further proof of that. Heady stuff indeed for American turf racing, and two wonderful mares.


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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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