TORONTO, September 17 – Tepin lived up to her billing as “Queen of the Turf” with a hard-fought score in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1,040,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
Victory for the Eclipse Award winning mare in the Woodbine Mile, her first on Canadian soil, marked her eighth consecutive win overall and provided Tepin with an automatic berth in Santa Anita’s Nov. 5 Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile, a race which she won last year at Keeneland.
Mark Casse, Tepin’s trainer, was unable to make it to Woodbine when weather concerns grounded his private flight. But, Casse had a more than able deputy here in his son and assistant, Norman Casse.
Sent off as the 2-5 choice in the field of eight, Tepin broke sharply from her outside post but was eased back to fourth place by regular rider Julien Leparoux as surprise leader Glenville Gardens set a pace of :23.38, :46.41 and 1:10.45. Full Mast and Arod stalked in second and third, respectively, with Tepin also in close attendance while clear on the outside in fourth place. Turning for home, Tepin launched her bid as Leparoux took a peek back over his right shoulder to take stock of the competition before moving to the front.
At mid-stretch, the Kentucky-bred mare was leading by a length but then began drifting out slightly.
Tower of Texas, meanwhile, was launching a strong rally on the inside under Eurico Rosa da Silva and his bid fell just a half-length short.
Mutakayyef, invading from England and the second choice at 3-1, closed for third money, a neck behind the runner-up with Full Mast another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.
Arod, Mr. Owen, Glenville Gardens and Passion for Action completed the order of finish. Tepin covered the mile in 1:34.13.
Leparoux, who had guided Tepin to a historic victory in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 25, acknowledged that she may have been a little rusty on Saturday.
“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.”
Da Silva, while offering all respect due to Tepin, felt that Tower of Texas could have rained on her parade.
“If I had a little bit cleaner of a trip maybe it would have been different,” said Da Silva. “Unfortunately, when I turned for home, I had nowhere to go.
“But when I had room, he kicked on so strong. The filly already had a couple of lengths on me. It’s really hard to make up ground on a good horse.”
Dane O’Neill, Mutakayyef’s rider, was philosophical in defeat.
“We could have done with a stronger pace but we’d never have beaten the filly,” said O’Neill. “If one or two things had gone in our favour I think we definitely could have been second.”
Owner Robert Masterson indicated that Tepin was looking long-term to the Breeders’ Cup but could have an interim run at Keeneland, which will host the Grade 1 $400,000 First Lady, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares which she won last year, and the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile for both sexes on the Oct. 8 program.
“She’s won three Grade 1s at Keeneland, said Masterson. “She likes to run. We’re better off running than working her. It’s a long time before the Breeders’ Cup.”
Norman Casse validated the Keeneland plan. “We’re going to look at it, and pick the easier of the two,” said Casse.
In the meantime, the $600,000 winner’s share boosted Tepin’s burgeoning bankroll past the $4 million mark. Her record stands at 13-3-1 from 21 outings.
Tepin returned $2.90 to win and $2.10 to place and fronted an 8-1 exactor of $21.90 with the 23-1 Tower of Texas, whose place price was $10.60. Mutakayyef completed a 8-1-2 triactor worth $49.65. There was no show or superfecta wagering.
The mutuel handle on the day was a stunning $9,638,444, a record for a Woodbine Mile card. The previous mark was $7,187,062, recorded in 2015.
Rainha Da Bateria prevails in Canadian
TORONTO, Ontario—The fact that Chad Brown saddled the 1-2 finishers here in Saturday’s Grade 2 Canadian Stakes was not that big a surprise.
What was mildly unexpected was that the winner was Rainha da Bateria, the second choice at 9-2, who hung on to score by a nose over her surging stablemate Dacita, the even-money choice. Rainha da Bateria not only pulled the $180,000 share of the $303,000 purse but also earned a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly/Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
Midnight Miley was sent away from the gate and quickly sprinted to a long lead in the about 1 1/8 mile Canadian, which was run over “good” going. Rainha Da Bateria was at the head of the chasing pack as Midnight Miley rolled through fractions of :23.85 and :46.42. But Midnight Miley was weakening in the stretch and Rainha da Bateria pounced to open a two-length lead with a furlong to run. Dacita had appeared to be spinning her wheels while running sixth on the inside before discovering her best stride too late. As the wire approached, Rainha Da Bateria dug in gamely to just hold off her surging stablemate in a final clocking of 1:46.87.
“She wants to be where she puts you,” said jockey Julien Leparoux, who had ridden Rainha Da Bateria for the first time in Saratoga’s July 23 Diana, a 1/18 turf race won by Dacita.
“She was very comfortable, she broke sharp and then she settled and was relaxed. She did good until she came down the stretch and started looking around a little bit and getting out. That was a new thing I learned about her but at least she won.”
Rainha Da Bateria was clocked in :1:46.87.
Faufiler, who followed Rainha Da Bateria throughout ended 3 1/4 lengths behind the top pair and 1 ¼ lengths before fourth-place Strut the Course, who lacked her best closing punch.
French invader Steip Amach was next, another three-quarters of a length back, with Midnight Miley and Goodyearforroses rounding out the order of finish.
Irad Ortiz Jr., who was looking for his third straight win aboard Dacita, offered no excuses for the defeat.
“I had a good trip; we just got beat. She had a good kick; she ran good. She liked the turf. But, we got beat by a good filly.”
Dacita and Rainha Da Bateria had both made their last starts in the Saratoga and were separated by two noses. Rainha Da Bateria, owned by Three Chimneys Farm was recording just her third career victory and her second stakes score, having captured Keeneland’s Grade 3 Jessamine as a 2-year-old. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred now has banked $563,836 with a 3-4-2 record from 16 starts.
Rainha Da Bateria returned $11.30, $4.10 and $3.50 and keyed a 5-2 exactor of $23.70 with Dacita ($3.10, $2.60). Faufiler rounded out the $1 5-2-1 triactor of $84.70 with Strut the Course on the bottom of a 5-2-1-4 superfecta worth $130.05.