Tepin jogs at Saratoga Race Course

Tepin jogs at Saratoga Race Course

Skip Dickstein

Tepin, Leparoux Back for Woodbine Mile

Now-healthy jockey will ride champion filly in $1 million race.

Robert Masterson's Tepin headlines a probable field of nine for the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) Sept. 17 at Woodbine.

A five-time grade I winner and the champion grass mare of 2015 brings a seven-race win streak into the Woodbine Mile, which is a "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).

The Bernstein mare trained by Mark Casse breezed five furlongs over the Saratoga Race Course turf training course in :59.88 Sept. 5 under jockey Florent Geroux. However, Tepin's regular rider, Julien Leparoux, will ride the talented bay after his recent recovery from a wrist injury at Saratoga in August.

The mount for the Woodbine Mile was always reserved for Leparoux.

"That was never in question," Casse said. "Right now, (Geroux) is the understudy and he's got to know Tepin quite well, but there was never any question that Julien would ride her.

"Julien is, and has been, a real big part of our team and any time you have a team player down, it hurts. He's breezed horses for us this week at Churchill. We've been anxious to have him back and not just for Tepin. He'll ride Airoforce this weekend in the Dueling Grounds Derby (at Kentucky Downs) for us."

Casse was particularly impressed with Tepin's most recent breeze, in which she worked in company with Enstone.

"Tepin was super," Casse said. "She's training as good as she ever has, if not better. She worked with Enstone, a Canadian-bred we ran at Saratoga and got beat a head."

Tepin is slated to work once more at Saratoga before shipping up to Woodbine Sept. 13 with an entourage of stakes hopefuls.

"Tepin will work on Sunday at Saratoga and arrive at Woodbine, with an entire contingency of horses, probably on Tuesday," Casse said. "Tepin, World Approval, Enstone, and Black Canary will come up. Irad Ortiz will ride Black Canary in the Natalma."

Casse has seven fillies nominated to the Natalma (Can-IT) and another five to the Summer Stakes (Can-IIT). Both juvenile events, slated for one mile on the turf Sept 18, are part of the "Win and You're In" series for the respective Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) and the Juvenile Turf (gr. IT).

"If all goes well we have Thora Barber, Victory to Victory, Black Canary, Enstone, and possibly Kodiak Gal for the Natalma," Casse said. "And as far as the Summer, we have Conquest Sure Shot and Conquest Farenheit."

Casse noted that Woodbine Mile nominee Conquest Enforcer will race Sept. 11 in the $100,000 Allied Forces Stakes, a six-furlong turf sprint at Belmont Park.