Sagamore Farm, Allen Rosenblum, and The Club Racing's Miss Temple City became the first female to win the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile Stakes (gr. IT) when she powered past Heart to Heart in midstretch on her way to a clear victory in Friday's turf test at Keeneland.
Guided to victory by Drayden Van Dyke and trained by Graham Motion, Miss Temple City completed the mile test in 1:34.07 on firm turf.
Van Dyke, who acquired his first ever Keeneland stakes win, placed Miss Temple City in third a couple of lengths behind Shining Copper who closely tracked Heart to Heart through a quarter-mile in :23.3 and a half-mile in :46.03. Terry Hamilton's Heart to Heart, riding a three-race win streak, put away Shining Copper in the far turn and opened a clear advantage under Julien Leparoux through six furlongs in 1:10.07.
"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," Leparoux said. "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."
Van Dyke, who saved ground early, had shifted Miss Temple City out after a half mile and she steadily gained ground in the turn before taking dead aim on the leader in early stretch. The 4-year-old Temple City filly collared Heart to Heart in midstretch and powered home to a 1 1/4-length victory.
Miss Temple City returned $14.60 to win, $6.60 to place, and $3.80 to show. Heart to Heart held second and returned $4.40 to place and $3.20 to show, while 3-1 favorite Tourist returned $3 to show. Reload finished fourth.
Friday's effort marked the seasonal debut for Miss Temple City, who just missed her first grade I win last year when she closed out 2015 by finishing second, a head behind Her Emmynency in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 10 at Keeneland.
"(I had an) ideal trip. Couldn't have asked for a better trip," Van Dyke said. "(When I asked her to respond) she took off like a rocket. She's such a nice filly."
Trained by Graham Motion, Miss Temple City won last year's Hilltop Stakes at Pimlico Race Course before shipping to Royal Ascot where she finished fourth, just two lengths back in the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I). Motion also entered Miss Temple City in the April 16 Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland where she would have clashed with champion grass female Tepin.
"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," Motion said. "I really wasn't crazy about running against her."
Motion also liked that Miss Temple City was assigned 113 pounds, compared with highweight Heart to Heart at 120 pounds.
"I loved the fact that we got the weight today; (jockey) Drayden (Van Dyke) could do the weight," Motion said. "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."