Breeders’ Cup Photo ©
When a two-year-old filly named Tepin won the Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) in November 2013, it is doubtful that anyone could have guessed that she would wind up a champion and future Hall of Fame inductee. But 2 1/2 years later, Tepin has blossomed into an unbeatable sensation, and on June 14th, she accomplished the seemingly impossible when she defeated a top-class field of international runners in the historic Queen Ann Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot.
The magnitude of her accomplishment is almost impossible to describe. The challenges she was facing were significant–she would be running over very soft ground and a straight course, neither of which she’s accustomed to; she would also be racing without Lasix and her nasal strip, which she uses in the United States. Her competition was also significant, as she would be facing several proven group I winners from Europe, including Belardo, Ervedya, Amazing Maria, and Esoterique.
But when jockey Julien Leparoux asked Tepin to run in the final quarter-mile of the Queen Anne, all of the questions and concerns faded away. After tracking the pace in third throughout the race, Tepin pounced to the lead while Belardo moved in tandem behind her, In the final furlong, the Tepin and Belardo pulled clear of the field while seemingly involved in a match race of their own, and while Belardo tried his best to close the gap, Tepin’s heart and talent proved too great to deny. As the finish line approached, Tepin dug deep to maintain a half-length advantage over her rival, and that was her winning margin as she flashed across the finish.
— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) June 14, 2016
— Norman W Casse (@casseracingnc) June 14, 2016
With her victory, Tepin has joined an elite group of U.S. horses that have won a top-level race in Europe. It is believed that only six other U.S. horses have done so, including Undrafted, who won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot last year.
After the race, trainer Mark Casse indicated that a defense of her Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) title is in the plans for Tepin, with a run in the Woodbine Mile (gr. I) to come first. Another international foray could also be in the cards for 2017, with a trip to Dubai being under consideration.
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