Hong Kong Mile Considered for Champion Tepin
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Champion Tepin is under consideration for the Hong King Mile.

Reigning champion turf female Tepin is already slated to remain in training for 2017. The 5-year-old daughter of Bernstein may not be done, however, putting the final touches on her 2016 campaign.

Robert Masterson's top mare exited her runner-up effort in the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) behind Tourist   well, according to Norman Casse—son and top assistant to trainer Mark Casse—and could make one more start in the $2.967 million Longines Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) Dec. 11 at Sha Tin. Should Tepin make such a trip, she would be going for a fourth grade I or group I victory in a different country this year alone, having previous won the Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April, the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot June 14, and the Ricoh Woodbine Mile Sept. 17.

"We're just going to have to monitor her," Norman Casse said. "She ran a big race in the Mile and she'd have to get on a plane relatively quickly, so if she's indicating that she's tired or unhappy and that it's time for a break we won't go. But if she's coming out of her skin so to speak, we'll look at it. The goal right now is to bide long term, so we'll just have to see how she reacts in the next few days."

Tepin captured the Breeders' Cup Mile in 2015, part of an eight-race win streak that lasted until her runner-up effort in the Oct. 8 First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland. Despite her half-length defeat in this year's Mile, the bay mare is favored to earn another Eclipse Award for champion turf female.

Stablemate Classic Empire is also expected to claim some year-end hardware, his for champion 2-year-old male in the wake of his triumph over Not This Time   in the Nov. 5 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. John Oxley's colt previously captured the Oct. 8  Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland, with his only loss in five starts coming when he wheeled out of the gate and unseated his rider in the Sept. 5 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.

"We always want to win Eclipse Awards, but most importantly it would be pretty meaningful for the Oxley's," Norman Casse said. "They have been one of our biggest supporters from the very beginning. We're super proud to have won a Breeders' Cup for them and to potentially win an Eclipse Award for them. This will give us something to look real forward to in the spring."

Casse added that Valadorna, runner-up in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) is "possible" for the Golden Rod (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 26, while La Coronel (sixth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf), Keep Quiet (eighth in the Juvenile Turf) and Catch a Glimpse (eighth in the Filly &Mare Turf) exited their Breeders' Cup efforts in good order and have been turned out at Casse's farm in Ocala, Fla.
 

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