The brilliant mare Tepin made it eight in a row with her victory in the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) on Saturday, beating the boys for the third time in her career and stamping her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to defend her title.
In the Woodbine Mile she was coming back off a three-month break and when she turned for home she was under a confident ride by jockey Julian Leparoux.
Leparoux began to encourage her around the 3/16’s and she had her head cocked briefly and then leveled out to hold on for the win by a half-length over 24-1 Tower of Texas, who had run second in the Play the King (G2) in his previous outing.
“She got a little tired; she’s been off for three months,” said Leparoux. “From this race, she’s going to get better later in the year. I knew they were not going to give me the race easy, but we had a good post and I could do whatever I wanted.”
It was a decent looking effort but the mare did not appear to have her complete “A” game visually, but she earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure which matches up nicely with her average. Her last 10 Beyers work out to an average of 104.9.
Ricoh Woodbine Mile Replay
Her career best came in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year where she earned a 110. She came into that race with a 109 for her win in the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland.
The effort seems to set her up nicely for her defense in the Mile, which is just 49 days away, but her connections say she will make one more start first, coming in either the First Lady (G1) or the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), both scheduled for Oct. 8 at Keeneland.
That seems to go against the recent wisdom of many trainers, who seem to be training horses up to the Breeders’ Cup off longer and longer layoffs.
Whether she starts at Keeneland or not, she looks primed for a top effort in her defense of her Mile title. There figures to be a strong influx of runners coming in from overseas, but the home team has now won four of the last five editions of the Mile, and before Goldikova came over and swept three in a row from 2008 to 2010, U.S. based runners had won the previous four.
Tepin now has 13 wins from her 21 career starts with $4,017,918 in earnings. If it was not for a head loss in the 2015 Ballston Spa (G2) and a nose loss in the Diana (G1), she could be riding a 13-race winning streak.
Next Saturday we have eight Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on tap. There are five at Santa Anita including the Awesome Again (G1) and three at Belmont Park highlighted by the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1).
Road to the Breeders’ Cup Package
GetMichael’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.