Robert Masterson's “Queen of the Turf” Tepin returned to the races in fine style Saturday, turning away all challengers in the G1, $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile to win by a half-length. The 5-year-old daughter of Bernstein, piloted by Julien Leparoux, completed one mile over an E.P. Taylor turf course rated “good” in 1:34.13 for trainer Mark Casse to mark her eighth victory in a row. The win earns Tepin an entry fees-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Mile, which the champion mare captured last fall at Keeneland.
“She got a bit tired today, she'd been off for three months,” said Leparoux. “She's only going to get better after this race.”
Tepin actually broke the sharpest of the eight-horse field, but settled well under Leparoux in fourth in the early going, never more than three lengths off the lead. Glenville Gardens took to the front with a one-length advantage over Full Mast through early fractions of :23.38 and :46.41, with Arod tucked in along the rail behind them. Leparoux kept Tepin off the rail in the clear going, rounding the far turn four-wide to challenge the front-runners.
Full Mast took over the lead briefly at the top of the stretch, but Tepin was winding up alongside him and ground away to get clear. Mutakayyef was running down her outside late to challenge, and Tower of Texas broke through between horses, but neither one could get within a half-length to Tepin, despite her clearly shortening stride late in the race. Tower of Texas nosed out Mutakayyef for second, and Full Mast faded to fourth.
“It's great, she's outstanding,” said Masterson. “That's what we want to do. She's done everything in the United States, and we want everybody to be able to see her.
“We might run before that,” Masterson said of the mare's Breeders' Cup tilt. “She does better when she's running… we might run her in a Grade 1 at Keeneland.”
Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Tepin was a $140,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale purchase. The Woodbine Mile marks her eighth win in a row, a streak which began 11 months ago in Keeneland's G1 First Lady Stakes, and includes wins over males in the Breeders' Cup Turf as well as a win at Royal Ascot in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Overall, the “Queen of the Turf” boasts a record of 13 wins from 21 starts, with earnings of over $4 million.
Watch the race replay here:
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