Miss Temple City looks good galloping for Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf

HorseRacingNation.com
September 08, 2017 01:31pm
Miss Temple City wins 2016 Maker's 46 Mile
Photo: Keeneland

Miss Temple City will be one of — if not the most — accomplished horses to race at Kentucky Downs when she goes in Saturday’s $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf, which enjoys Grade 3 status for the first time. The 5-year-old mare is the even-money favorite, with trainer Graham Motion hoping to get the three-time Grade 1 winner back to her old self after she was well-beaten when running for the third time at Britain’s Royal Ascot meet and then upset as the odds-on favorite in Monmouth Park’s Grade 3 Matchmaker.

The ultimate goal is a stakes at Keeneland, where last year Miss Temple City made a career of sidestepping champion Tenpin at the Lexington track, instead beating the boys in the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile and $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile.

“She seems good, she settled in really nicely,” said assistant trainer Alice Clapham, who accompanied Miss Temple City to Kentucky. “She seems to be taking everything in stride. She galloped great on the track this morning, so we’re happy. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

“She’s like the barn favorite. She’s been in our barn since she was 2, and she’s 5 now. Everybody knows her and everybody loves her. She’s been a great horse for us and great fun for us.”

The Ascot trips took Clapham back to her native England. Miss Temple City had been a good fourth when running there at 3 and 4, but the Group 1 Queen Ann in the mare’s 5-year-old debut was the only time in her career that she did not run well.

“Maybe it was just one of those days,” Clapham said. “She got a little wound up in the paddock, which she hadn’t done the year before. Maybe she was a little fresh. I think we just put a line through it.”

Bucket lists being filled

Even without racing Friday, out-of-state fans came to check out the track, using the same words: Kentucky Downs was on their bucket list of things to do during their life.

One person was Bruce Micklus from Missoula, Montana. A huge racing fan, he got tickets to come two years ago. But right before he was to fly out, he got a call from Kentucky Downs’ Rick Albright, advising that the races had been canceled because of heavy rain.

“So I didn’t come that year, and it saved me a couple, three thousand dollars in travel and everything,” Micklus said. “So I came last year by myself, and I was just blown away by the beauty, the whole atmosphere. I made a promise to myself that I would never miss this race meet ever again. So I’m back this year and brought a friend, who runs the Montana simulcast sites. We came in and caught half of Wednesday’s races and are tickled pink.”

Micklus said the large crowds of Del Mar and Saratoga can make those venues uncomfortable.

“This site is so fantastic,” he said. “It’s like a dream. I’d seen it on television, and that’s what I wanted to do… It reminds us of our fairs where we used to have racing. You’d imagine that if you’d build something, you’d build it just like this. The course is wonderful and different. We sit in the Finish Line tent and have the time of our lives.”

Said his buddy, Nick Alonzo, “Everything I expected; it all came true.”

Source: Kentucky Downs

 

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