Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

Royal Ascot Journey Confirmed for Tepin

Trainer Mark Casse May 29 confirmed that the champion mare will head to England.

Champion turf female Tepin will ship to England for a start in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I), June 14, trainer Mark Casse confirmed May 29.

Plans to send reigning champion turf female Tepin to Royal Ascot were being re-evaluated, Casse had said May 28, because of concern over the fact the 5-year-old daughter of Bernstein would not be allowed to use an equine nasal strip in England. After discussing the matter with owner Robert Masterson, the decision was made to press on with overseas venture, Casse said.

"We're going," Casse said. "It's just something that Mr. Masterson really wants to do. We looked at everything, and as long as she is still happy and healthy, it's a dream of his. Unless we were concerned that it was detrimental to her health, that would stop us. But all looks good so it's a go.

With multiple group I winner Solow declared out of the Queen Anne earlier in May, Tepin could be the heavy favorite over male rivals in the one-mile stakes.

Tepin turned in her typically steady breeze Saturday morning, going five furlongs in 1:01.60 at Churchill Downs in what was her first move since winning the May 7 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (gr. IIT). Though both regular rider Julien Leparoux and assistant trainer Norman Casse were pleased with the move, Leparoux did say the bay mare made "maybe a little bit more" breathing noise than normal during the work.


Mark Casse, who was not on hand for the work, said later in the morning that Tepin has had breathing issues in the past and that the use of the nasal strip is "important" where the 2015 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner is concerned.

"I talked to Norman and Julien and they were happy with how she breezed. My concern is—a lot of people don't know it—but she has had some breathing issues in the past. In fact, if you go back and look at Del Mar (eighth in the 2014 Del Mar Oaks) when she ran her one bad race, she nearly collapsed after the race. So, as great as she is, she does have some issues.

"We don't run all our horses in the nasal strip but she's one that it's really important for her to wear it. It's a concern. We just found out recently that she's not going to be allowed to use the nasal strip (at Ascot). So we're going to discuss it all."

Tepin worked Saturday without the use of the anti-bleeder medication furosemide, also referred to as Salix or Lasix.

Tepin stated her case for going on to England as she appeared to be holding her form in the wake of her sixth straight victory. With Leparoux quiet in the irons, the two clocked splits of :12.60 and :36.60, galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.60 on a fast Churchill track.

"We were looking for a typical big five-eighths work that we do two weeks out," said Norman Casse, the day-to-day overseer of Tepin. "She doesn't do anything fancy anymore. I feel like since she has matured, she just kind of does what she needs to do. It was just a very typical work for her and just nice and even and she galloped out good."

Should plans for Royal Ascot get the official green light, Norman Casse said Tepin would likely have her final work June 3 at Churchill.

Bred by Machmer Hall, Tepin has won all four of her starts in 2016 including a victory in the April 16 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland. She defeated males when she captured the Breeders' Cup Mile by 2 1/4 lengths last October and has won 11 of 19 career starts with $3,078,253 in earnings.