Tepin records easy half-mile on Saratoga’s Oklahoma turf

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TwinSpires Staff

July 22nd, 2016

Edited Press Release

Mark Casse worked several of his Grade 1 stars Friday morning at Saratoga, as Tepin and World Approval worked on the firm Oklahoma turf course within minutes of each other shortly after Noble Bird went a sharp half-mile on the fast main track.

Shortly before 10 a.m. (ET), champion turf mare Tepin went a typically easy four furlongs in :50.42, galloping out five-eighths in 1:04 beneath regular rider Julien Leparoux.

Casse reported that Tepin, who won the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-G1) at Royal Ascot to stretch her stakes-winning streak to seven, will take on the boys once again in the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap, a newly-minted Grade 1 going a mile on turf August 13.

"The plan is to run Tepin in the Fourstardave and Catch a Glimpse in the Lake Placid," Casse stated. "I was kind of struggling with how we were going to get Tepin to the Woodbine Mile ([Can-G1] on September 17)."

Reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse, who like Tepin is a perfect five-for-five this year after her front-running triumph in the July 9 Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1), is being pointed to the $300,000 Lake Placid Stakes (G2) on August 21.

"The only thing that would keep me from running Catch a Glimpse here is how she handles the crowd," Casse explained. "This is a very unique place because the crowd gets so close to you, and some horses can't handle it. She's not like Tepin – Tepin doesn't care about anything."

Moments after Tepin worked, United Nations Stakes (G1) hero World Approval turned in a brisk half-mile workout under Florent Geroux, going in :48.72, the fastest of 25 turf workouts at the distance. The gray gelding galloped out in 1:01 for five furlongs.

"That was a big work for him," Casse noted. "Florent said he's a funny kind of horse to ride – the faster he goes, the lower his head gets. He'll run in the (August 13) Arlington Million (G1) if all goes well, but if we decide to miss that race he could go in the ($1 million) Sword Dancer ([G1] on August 27). His new strategy, staying close to the pace, has made him more effective; he has a quick turn of speed."

Over on the main track, Noble Bird breezed four furlongs in a sharp :47.66, the fourth-fastest of 74 works at the distance behind the Casse-trained Diva Express, who went in :47.31. The move had Casse thinking big with the five-year-old horse, who was scratched from Belmont Park’s Suburban Handicap (G2) on July 9.

"That was as good as I've ever seen Noble Bird work this morning," Casse noted. "He went :47, and looking at him, I thought he went in :50, so he may have earned himself a ticket to the ($1.25 million) Whitney (Stakes [G1] on August 6). We'll see how he comes out of it.

"He just wasn't himself the morning of the Suburban. He's a very aggressive horse and we just couldn't get him to go, but when the real Noble Bird shows up, he can run with anyone"

Meanwhile Mark's son, Norman Casse, said that Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) victor Classic Empire and Debutante Stakes heroine Pretty City Dancer are respectively being pointed to the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) and $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) on the final weekend at Saratoga.

"As of right now, that's the plan," he said.

Both worked four furlongs Friday morning at Churchill Downs, with Classic Empire going in a bullet :46.40 and Pretty City Dancer clocking :49.40.

Tepin photo courtesy of Frank Sorge/