The Woodbine Mile unfolded just as everyone expected. Going off as a 2/5 favorite, Tepin exercised patience and poise as she set herself up to bury the field. There were some concerns that the five-year old mare would be a bit tired and ragged after travelling back from Britain. Though she showed some signs of fatigue, she had plenty left to make short work of her rivals this past weekend.
Glevnille Gardens took the pack out as the longshot and set a perfect pace for Tepin, who sat back in fourth for much of the race. They hit the half-mile at :46.41 and the field burst in to the final stretch with Tepin unloading a solid fend right down the center of the track. She put forth just enough to keep Tower of Texas and Mutakayyef off her heels as she stretched across the finish line to win the Woodbine Mile, making it look all too easy in the process.
“She was obviously all heart, you could see even in the win picture that she’s laid it all on the line for you,” said Norman Casse, an assistant trainer and son of Mark Casse. “I had my reservations coming into the race. I thought we had her cranked up, but I wasn’t 100 percent confident. She got tired today but she’ll move forward and run a little better race next time.”
Head trainer Mark Casse stayed in Churchill Downs for the race, but was reached for comment on his horse’s Woodbine Mile victory. “I thought for a minute she was in trouble,” said the head trainer. “At the quarter pole, I thought she was okay and then towards the end, I was like ‘Okay, wire, I’m ready for you’.”
The Casse’s will certainly have her prepared for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, which she won last season. The Woodbine Mile looks as though it’s the final tuneup for one of the best race horses in the sport today, and with an eight-race winning streak growing and intact the job has been done properly. A title defence at the world championships seems matter of fact.