Multiple grade 1 winner Miss Temple City was put through her first serious paces since returning from an ambitious season debut at Royal Ascot last month, working five furlongs in company with stablemate Quidura at Fair Hill Training Center July 14.
As he watched the daughter of Temple City breeze in 1:01 flat over the all-weather surface Friday, trainer Graham Motion was heartened by the energy the big mare showed in the wake of her 13th-place finish in the June 20 Queen Anne Stakes (G1). Though disappointed in that result, her connections were hardly displeased with Miss Temple City, considering she was trying to take down an international group of male contenders in her first outing since her Dec. 4 Matriarch Stakes (G1T) victory at Del Mar.
Confident as they were in her ability to fire well off a layoff, Motion says he feels the dark bay distaffer may have been a little too on the muscle as she chased the swift early running before fading behind race winner Ribchester.
"I think it was a lot to ask of her (at Royal Ascot)," Motion said. "It's unfortunate we didn't get a prep in and it just made it very tough. She was very fresh before the race and she was very fresh in the race. Obviously over there you don't get splits but. ... I tried to clock it the other day and those guys were shading :11, I think, for a couple of those furlongs, so they were rolling.
"I can't express how hard it is to (win at Royal Ascot). I don't know if everyone realizes how amazing what (champion) Tepin did last year in winning there. To go in there fresh was just too much."
If Miss Temple City follows her prior scripts, she should be set up for a stout second-half campaign. Motion said the mare bounced out of her two previous trips to Royal Ascot better than she came in—a theory that was especially well supported last year as she notched two of her three grade 1 wins following her trip across the Atlantic.
"I don't think it's as hard on them shipping to Europe than maybe going to Dubai and such," Motion said. "She hasn't seemed to miss a beat since she got home so that's good."
Motion said the WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (G3T) at Monmouth Park July 30 could be targeted for Miss Temple City's next outing, with Quidura slated to run in the July 22 Diana Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga Race Course.
"I didn't even want to nominate Miss Temple City (to the Diana) because I didn't want to be tempted. It's too quick," Motion said. "But certainly a race like the Matchmaker or the (Fasig-Tipton) De La Rose (at Saratoga Aug. 5) fits in the schedule. I wouldn't mind coming back in a lesser race first time back. We kind of threw her to the wolves last time, so I'd like to make it less complicated."
Bred by Bob Feld, whose The Club Racing partnership owns her along with Sagamore Farm and Allen Rosenblum, Miss Temple City has won six of 17 starts with $1,453,038 in earnings.
Multiple graded stakes-winning stablemate Irish War Cry, runner-up in the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) June 10, continues to progress towards a start in the July 30 betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1), Motion said, and is slated to work again July 16 at Fair Hill.
"He's doing super, I've been very happy with him," Motion said. "The Haskell is definitely the goal."