Miss Temple City makes her mark on Maker’s 46

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

April 15th, 2016

You’ve got to love the creative thinking of Miss Temple City’s connections – the ownership team of Sagamore Farm, Allen Rosenblum, and The Club Racing LLC and trainer Graham Motion.

Want to swerve Lady Eli? Go to Royal Ascot and finish an honorable fourth in the Coronation (G1).

Champion Tepin shows up in your intended reappearance in Saturday’s Jenny Wiley (G1)? Switch gears, take on males in the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) over the same Keeneland course on Friday, and watch Miss Temple City make history as the race’s first female winner.

Venturing outside the confines of the distaff turf division made a lot of sense here. Not only was there no Tepin-caliber male to fear, but Miss Temple City also received a hefty weight break. And the race promised to set up well for a stalker, since morning-line favorite Heart to Heart was likely to be compromised by the ex-rabbit Shining Copper.

If you needed further encouragement, Miss Temple City had run very well in both prior tries over the Keeneland turf. She was best of the rest behind Lady Eli in last spring’s Appalachian (G3) at this trip, and in her 2015 finale in the 1 1/8-mile Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1), she was bitterly unlucky to miss by a head after having to check and alter course in the stretch. Indeed, for all of her gameness, the victorious Her Emmynency was fortunate not to lose the race via disqualification.

Any scruple about being audacious in the first start off the layoff? Motion wins at a 20% clip off a break of at least 90 days, according to Brisnet. Miss Temple City was ready to roll in the wake of a series of works, first at her winter resort of Camden, South Carolina, and more recently with Motion’s string at Palm Meadows.

Some bettors definitely took note. Miss Temple City was bet down to 6-1 from a morning line of 12-1.

As expected, the two obvious pacesetters went forward early. Heart to Heart, who had broken the gate open before the actual start, beat Shining Copper to the punch once they were officially underway. But the price was carving out splits of :23.30, :46.03, and 1:10.07 under constant pestering. Meanwhile, Miss Temple City was in the garden spot, tracking along the inside for Drayden Van Dyke.

Heart to Heart proved the classier of the pace factors and put Shining Copper away turning for home. The 120-pound highweight had to work, however, to accomplish that.

Now Miss Temple City – a big, strong filly toting only 113 pounds – loomed a fresh face on the premises. Heart to Heart simply could not give her seven pounds in the circumstances, try though he might. Miss Temple City collared him in midstretch and surged 1 1/4 lengths clear in a final time of 1:34.09 on the firm course.

Heart to Heart held second by the same margin from Tourist, who took over favoritism at post time, also at 3-1. Last seen finishing eighth behind Tepin in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) here, Tourist made a middle move into contention before settling for third. He’s eligible to improve next time.

Reload lost ground late in fourth, and the Phipps homebred may rebound back around Belmont’s one-turn. Conquest Typhoon, at the rear in the opening stages, got up for fifth. Itsaknockout made little impression in sixth, earning the dubious chart comment of “toiled fruitlessly through the lane.” Shining Copper backpedaled to seventh, trailed by Are You Kidding Me (who’s surely got Woodbine on the brain) and 76-1 longshot Dac.

After this richly deserved Grade 1 breakthrough, Miss Temple City sports a mark of 10-4-3-2, $562,740. The winner of the Hilltop on Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico, the dark bay also placed in last season’s Lake Placid (G2), Sands Point (G2) and Sweetest Chant (G3). Her fourth in the Coronation at Royal Ascot is a serious piece of form, since the top three were Ervedya, eventual Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Found, and Lucida. 

Miss Temple City was bred in Kentucky by Bob Feld Bloodstock and RNA’d (failed to sell) for $10,000 as a newly turned yearling at Keeneland January. She’s a daughter of Temple City, of course, and along with Bolo, she’s been a first-crop headliner for her sire. Her full sister, Pricedtoperfection, captured the January 30 renewal of the Sweetest Chant. Their dam is the stakes-placed Artax mare Glittering Tax – not a bad omen for an April 15 stakes.

Quotes from Keeneland

Winning trainer Graham Motion on calling the audible to go in the Maker’s 46:

“Tepin’s already beaten the boys. She’s proved she’s one of the best milers in the country – if not the best miler in the country. I really wasn’t crazy about running against her.

“I loved the fact that we got the weight today; (jockey) Drayden (Van Dyke) could do the weight (113 pounds). He suits this filly so well. I think this filly is better than she was last year. She’s improved physically. She looks like a colt.”

Winning rider Drayden Van Dyke:

“Ideal trip. Couldn’t have asked for a better trip. She took off like a rocket. She’s such a nice filly.”

Jockey Julien Leparoux on runner-up Heart to Heart:

“We were expecting (Shining Copper to press the pace). We broke so sharp that by the first turn we were already in front so we were committed to being on the lead. We did go a little bit quick, but he fought the whole time and ran a huge race. He tried hard. We had a good race, but when you have the speed and you have the favorite, you’re usually the target. That that was the case today.”

Jockey Jose Lezcano on third-placer Tourist:

“I got a very good trip. I got in good position. The pace was very good. I had plenty of horse, so I followed the horse in front of me (Miss Temple City) and when I asked he gave me the kick I needed. The horse in front (Miss Temple City) can run. It was still a very good race.”

Jockey Javier Castellano on fourth-placer Reload:

“I had a beautiful trip. I covered up behind the winner all the way. Turning for home, I didn’t have the horse today.”


Photos courtesy Keeneland/Coady Photography.