Tepin camp now wavering about whether to go to Royal Ascot
Edited Churchill Downs press release
Plans for reigning champion turf mare Tepin to seek international glory at Royal Ascot are in “discussion mode,” according to trainer Mark Casse following her Saturday morning breeze on a fast main track at Churchill Downs where the 5-year-old daughter of Bernstein went five furlongs in 1:01.60.
Tepin was timed in fractions of :12.60 and :36.60 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.60 with regular rider Julien Leparoux in the irons.
“I’m going to talk to (owner) Mr. (Robert) Masterson this afternoon and see how she is tomorrow (Sunday),” Casse said via telephone. “She still has one more breeze next Friday, but we’ll try to make as final of a decision as you can in horse racing.
“There are a lot of variables to go into going to England. We can’t run on Lasix and we can’t use a nasal strip that she usually wears. Today she breezed without Lasix or a nasal strip.
“She’s a heavy breather but Julien said that today she was breathing a little heavier than usual. We’re still talking about it and tomorrow we’ll probably decide.”
Casse’s son Norman, who oversees his string of horses at Churchill Downs, was onsite for Tepin’s work, which was her first since a 3 1/2-length romp as the overwhelming favorite in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) on the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard.
“We were just looking for a typical five-eighths like we did two weeks out,” Norman Casse said. “She doesn’t too anything too fancy anymore. Since she’s matured, she just kind of does everything that she needs to do. This was a very typical work for her, just a nice even five-eighths and galloped out well. She looks like she’s moving well and I think Julien (Leparoux) would agree that she’s been doing well.”
“She went well,” Leparoux said. “She was making a bit of noise, like usual, but maybe a bit more, but she went good, nice and easy.”
Should Tepin get a thumbs up from Casse for a trip across the pond, she would likely ship on Friday, June 3.
Also on the Saturday work tab for Casse was Live Oak Plantation’s World Approval, who went five furlongs in 1:00.40 and is pointing toward the $1 million Manhattan (G1) on the June 11 Belmont S. (G1) undercard. John Oxley’s Airoforce went a half-mile in :49.80 in preparation for a start in the $500,000 Penn Mile (G3) at Penn National on June 4. Pretty City Dancer, Casse’s 2-year-old maiden victress on Friday afternoon, is a possibility for the $100,000 Debutante on July 2.
Tepin photo by Lauren Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com