Six Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races on Tap This Weekend

Tepin is the heavy favorite for the Woodbine Mile on Saturday, her final prep before defending her title in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1). (Photo credit: Breeders' Cup Ltd.)

Tepin is the heavy favorite for the Woodbine Mile on Saturday, her final prep before defending her title in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). (Photo credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.)

The brilliant mare Tepin leads the way this weekend as the heavy favorite for the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1), one of six Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on tap this weekend.

The mare will be making her first start since winning the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot on June 14. She was pointed toward the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga, but her connections were not happy with her works and she lands at Woodbine for her final prep race for defending her title in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

The Mark Casse trainee has won seven races in a row and was installed as the 1-2 morning line favorite for the Woodbine Mile, a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

She arrived at Woodbine on Wednesday evening and had a trip over the Tapeta surface Thursday morning.

“She settled in perfect, as expected.  That’s one of the things that makes her so special. She can go and do these things and never miss a beat. She was really happy yesterday and seems really happy this morning,” said assistant trainer Norm Casse. “I just wanted her to go out there and warm up a little bit and show a little of that energy she’s been showing at Saratoga the past month. She looked really good.”

The mare faces seven foes in the race, the final race on an outstanding 12-race card on Saturday. Among her foes are three European invaders led by Mutakayyef, who was third behind Postponed in the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York in his last outing. The son of Sea The Stars is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line.

Earlier on the Woodbine card a field of seven fillies and mares will line up in the $300,000 Canadian (G2) at nine furlongs on turf. The race serves as a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

Chad Brown sends in two major contenders in Diana (G1) winner Dacita, who is the 2-1 morning line favorite and Rainha Da Bateria (3-1), who was beaten a nose and ahead in a third place finish in the Diana.

Steip Amach makes her North American debut for trainer David Smaga and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. She was third in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild and Darley Prix Jean Romanet in her last two starts.

Four of the six Breeders’ Cup Challenge races this weekend are for juveniles. On Saturday Churchill Downs hosts the $150,000 Iroquois (G3) for two-year-old and the $200,000 Pocahontas (G2) for juvenile fillies.

Former Todd Pletcher assistant Horacio DePaz sends out the 3-1 morning line favorite Recruiting Ready in the Iroquois. The colt ran second in the Bashford Manor (G3) over the Churchill Downs main track and then was second and disqualified to fourth in the Saratoga Special (G2) in his last outing.

The Pocahontas drew a field of 10 led by Dream Dancing for the Casse barn. The filly was a good looking maiden winner on turf at Saratoga in her second career start.

On Sunday at Woodbine we have two more “Win and You’re In” races for juveniles, the $200,000 Summer (G2) at a mile on turf and the $250,000 Natalma (G1) for juvenile fillies.


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Get Michael’s Best Plays Report each Saturday which will include all of the U.S. based Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races from now to Oct. 12 and Michael Dempsey’s 2-Day Breeders’ Cup Report.

Michael’s two day Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the two-day championship event from Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.


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