OZONE PARK, NY – Godolphin’s immaculately-bred Lovestruck opened many eyes following an impressive career debut this summer at Saratoga and will take things up a notch in Sunday’s fourth running of the $100,000 Tepin going 1 1/16 miles over the inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Tepin is named after Robert Masterson’s two-time Eclipse Award-winning turf miler, who earned the first of her six Grade/Group 1 triumphs in the 2015 Just a Game at Belmont Park for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse. After capping off her 2015 campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, she returned the following year to defeat some of the best milers on the globe in the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot. She retired with 13 career victories and $4,437,918 in lifetime earnings.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Lovestruck is a gray or roan daughter of Tapit out of the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Love Style, who produced the late Grade 1 winner and multiple champion-producing stallion Scat Daddy. She is also a half-sister to graded stakes winner Antipathy.
Lovestruck broke a step slow out of the gate and was shuffled to the back of the pack on debut. Nevertheless, when a hole opened up, Lovestruck was able to break through and power home to a 1-length triumph under a hand ride by Junior Alvarado, registering a 75 Beyer Speed Figure.
“It was certainly eventful. She had very good action and very good acceleration through the lane,” said Jimmy Bell, President of Godolphin’s North American operations. “Given her pedigree, she might be one of the most exciting fillies we have in training. It’s a super female family and she looks like she has some talent to go along with it.”
Lovestruck was initially pointing towards the Miss Grillo (G2) on October 4 but was scratched after spiking a temperature.
“She’s ready to go and she’s been training well. I just hope that the weather is good. She’ll be going over a pretty fresh track at Aqueduct,” Bell said. “We’ll see how she runs, we think she’s a quality filly.”
Alvarado will return to the saddle aboard Lovestruck, who breaks from post 2.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will saddle Stuart S. Janney III’s Island Treasure, who arrives off an upset victory in her second start over a yielding Widener turf course at Belmont Park.
The Speightstown gray filly made amends in her last-out maiden triumph after a distant 10th on debut, where she was never a factor and finished 18 1/4 lengths to Batyah. Island Treasure displayed new dimensions in her next effort when tracking a 1/2-length off the pace and edging clear to a 1 1/4-length victory.
“I always thought she had some ability,” McGaughey said. “She worked really well at Saratoga on the turf, but I was really puzzled by her first race. She acted up in the gate and then she left there wanting to run. The turf was pretty fast that day. She left there running the last time she ran, but she was there the whole way. I think she’s got some ability. She’s a big, strong 2-year-old filly and we’re going to take a shot.”
A Kentucky homebred, Island Treasure is out of the 3-time graded stakes-winning Smart Strike mare Hit It Rich, who also was trained by McGaughey, and comes from the same extended family as multiple Grade 1 winner Honey Ryder.
“The whole family has been good for me,” McGaughey said.
Jose Lezcano, who was aboard for her maiden victory, will return to the saddle from post 10.
Trainer Graham Motion will race Invincible Gal back three weeks after an 11th-place finish to Aunt Pearl in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) on November 6 at Keeneland.
Owned by Michael Ryan, Jeff Drown, and Team Hanley, the bay daughter of Invincible Sprit has made each of her 4 career starts at different tracks.
Before shipping to Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup, she was a first-out winner on August 7 going 5 1/2 furlongs over the Mellon turf at Saratoga. Invincible Gal then was twice second against stakes company as the favorite when beaten a 1/2-length in the Sorority on September 7 at Monmouth Park going one mile and the Selima on October 3 over a yielding Pimlico Race Course turf.
Bred in Great Britain by Rabbah Bloodstock, Invincible Gal is out of the Group 3-winning Acclamation mare Alsindi.
Breaking from post 4, Invincible Gal will be ridden by Jose Ortiz.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out main track maiden winner Fifth Risk for The Estate of Paul Pompa, Jr.
The dark bay or brown daughter of freshman stallion Outwork, a son of Uncle Mo who won the 2016 Wood Memorial at the Big A, backed up her favoritism in her August 23 debut going 6 furlongs over a fast main track at Saratoga.
“She’s trained well,” Pletcher said. “It seems like the Outworks are doing well on the grass. The Uncle Mos are doing a little of everything it seems, and it looks the same from his progeny.”
Bred in Kentucky by DocAtty Stables, Fifth Risk is out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Blue Orleans, who is a half-sister to Pico Central, who was a 3-time Grade 1-winner on the NYRA circuit.
Fifth Risk will leave from post 11 and will be ridden by Kendrick Carmouche.
Rounding out the field are Big Time Lady (post 1, Eric Cancel), Lexinator (post 3, Jorge Vargas Jr.), Thursday (post 5, Nik Juarez), Bravo Regina (post 7, Luis Rodriguez Castro), and Frost Me (post 12, Dylan Davis).
Hit the Woah (post 6), Dollar Mountain (post 8, Eric Cancel), and Malibu Curl (post 9, Jose Ortiz) have been entered for main track only.
The Tepin is slated as Race 9 on Aqueduct’s 10-race program, which offers a first post of 11:50 a.m. Eastern. America’s Day at the Races will present daily television coverage of the Aqueduct fall meet with coverage to air on FOX Sports and MSG Networks.