Miss Temple City turns Maker’s 46/Shadwell Turf Mile double

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October 9th, 2016

During Keeneland’s Spring Meet, Miss Temple City opted to face males, rather than Tepin, and the move paid off with a deserved first Grade 1 coup in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1). Back at the Lexington oval for FallStars Weekend, the same choice presented itself. Not only was the decision the same, to go against males in a deep renewal of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), but the result was the same: Miss Temple City beat the boys and concluded a rare double.

Trained by Graham Motion for The Club Racing LLC, Allen Rosenblum, and Sagamore Farm, Miss Temple City is in pretty exclusive company. The precedent for completing a single-season sweep of Keeneland’s marquee turf events was set by future Hall of Famer Wise Dan (2014). Perfect Soul won both, but in separate years (2003 Shadwell and 2004 Maker's).

Since her April heroics, Miss Temple City had endured a spell of frustration, through no fault of her own. She ventured to Royal Ascot for the June 15 Duke of Cambridge (G2), caught an unsuitably soft course, and wound up fourth under top weight of 131 pounds. Miss Temple City was then a bad-luck, fast-finishing fourth in the Diana (G1) at Saratoga, and fifth after launching an aggressive early move in the teeth of the Ballston Spa (G2) pace. Ballston Spa runner-up Lady Eli rebounded in Saturday’s Flower Bowl (G1) at Belmont Park, and Miss Temple City did likewise three hours later in the Shadwell.

This time, Miss Temple City was given a perfect trip by new rider Edgar Prado. A 7-1 chance against the likes of slight 3-1 favorite Ironicus and 3-1 Arlington Million (G1) hero Mondialiste, the filly sat in second minding Pleuven through slow fractions of :24.39, :49.18, and 1:13.47 on the firm turf. Those who could have been projected to force the issue, principally Tourist and What a View, were reticent. As a result, the closers were at a disadvantage, and Miss Temple City was in the right spot.

Striking in the stretch with a well-timed challenge, Miss Temple City got the decisive jump. Ironicus flew out wide, but the wire came too soon. Miss Temple City held on by a head in 1:37.04 in this “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

Tourist was another half-length astern in third, and Mondialiste was fourth. Visually, Mondialiste looked one-paced, but they were all sprinting home after the early dawdle. With the prospect of a lightning-quick course at Santa Anita looming, this result might persuade trainer David O’Meara and owners Geoff and Sandra Turnbull to take the leap into the Turf (G1) rather than the Mile.

Kasaqui, Pleuven, and Ring Weekend finished in a heap, while What a View and Grand Arch were each separated by a length. There were longer intervals to Tower of Texas and Triple Threat.

Miss Temple City has now gained compensation after her heartbreak here last October, when she was hampered in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and just missed. The winner, Her Emmynency, arguably should have been disqualified. But bygones will be bygones, and it’s even easier to let that go after Miss Temple City’s outstanding Grade 1 bookends.

The Shadwell made Miss Temple City a millionaire with earnings of $1,213,054 from her 14-5-3-2 line.

Quotes from Keeneland

Winning trainer Graham Motion: “She’s the best filly I’ve ever trained. She’s spectacular. My frustration was over the summer when it seemed we got a little lost with her. She had some tough trips.

“I’m glad the crew talked me into running her here today. I think I would have chosen to go the other way (and run her in the First Lady [G1] two races earlier). But this was the right thing to do; we took a shot. She’s a very special filly. I think she’s been on form all summer. It’s just been frustrating that she hasn’t been able to show it on the race track.”

Winning rider Edgar Prado: “I’ve studied her races over and over. Seems like the real key is just getting her to relax. There wasn’t much speed in the race and she was very comfortable most of the race. I saw that horse (fast-closing Ironicus) coming and I was glad the wire was there.”

Jockey Jose Ortiz on runner-up Ironicus: “No pace at all in the race – I think that was the key. My horse broke good but wasn’t able to get a good position on the outside to press the pace a little bit. When he switched to the right lead he really exploded. So I thought I had a chance. She just had to back up and she didn’t. At the wire I knew it was very close.”

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey on Ironicus: “He ran a great race. Miss Temple City won here in the spring and she has a big affinity for this (turf course). (Ironicus) was never really where I thought he should be, but it was not the rider’s fault. That is just the way the race came up. There was no pace. I thought he lingered on his left lead but when he switched, here he came.”

Jockey Jose Lezcano on third-placer Tourist: “He stumbled a little bit at the break but after that I had a very good trip. I saved ground on the backside and let him breathe a little bit. The pace was kind of slow. I asked him at the quarter pole and he came running. He’s a very nice horse.”

Jockey Danny Tudhope on Mondialiste: “We were ready and steady. He ran a good race. No excuses today.”


Photo courtesy Keeneland/Coady Photography