The 2016 Woodbine Mile is more of a matter-of-fact than a matter of guessing. Tepin has been installed as the favorite at 4/5 with only two other horses offering reasonable challenges. It’s safe to say, however, that spending money on any other horse to win this race is a foolish exercise in financial planning.
This race represents a lot more things than it usually does. For Tepin, it’s a return to North American soil after vanquishing the Queen of Anne Stakes over at the Royal Ascot in Great Britain. The summer was spent overseas to avoid unnecessary exposure to heat as the five-year old mare prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 2016 Woodbine Mile offers a place in that race to the winner as a challenge series event.
Even with the certainty surrounding the 2016 Woodbine Mile, it’s important to mention that there’s also a $1,000,000 purse up for grabs. Tepin has already earned $3.5 million in her incredible career, which has seen her go undefeated through five faces this season. Overall she is 12-3-1 in 20 starts with her last defeat coming last year at the Ballston Spa against Dacita, who is best wager in the Canadian Stakes which runs earlier that afternoon.
Mark Casse’s assistant trainer, Norman Casse, has been on hand in Toronto to oversee the transition back from foreign competition for Tepin. As you’d hope, everything has gone as expected. “She settled in perfect, as expected,” said the assistant trainer. “That’s one of the things that makes her so special. She can go and do these things and never miss a beat. She was really happy yesterday and seems really happy this morning.”
More importantly, this is a homecoming for head trainer Mark Casse. “A lot of people don’t know, but I stepped away from training for 7-8 years and then when I started back, I started back up there,” Casse reminisced earlier this week. “So that was really important. And you know it’s a nice place to live, it allowed us to train there from the middle of March to the middle of December,” he continued. “Woodbine and Toronto has been probably the pivotal point of getting my career going again.”
Casse is unquestioned as an elite trainer of champions. He will be able to revisit the track where he rejuvenated his career with the horse that has meant the most to him as well. As long as Tepin runs well in the 2016 Woodbine Mile – and there’s no reason to think otherwise – it will be a joyful celebration for Casse, who comes full circle in his career.
If you’re looking for a second place finisher, I’d rather go with Arod, an Irish horse who is on the rise, over Mutakayyef. But it’s best to sit back and just enjoy this one as Tepin romps yet another field of rivals.
2016 Woodbine Mile – Saturday, September 17th at Woodbine (6:39pm EST)
1 Mile — 3+ Year Olds — $1,000,000
|1||Tower of Texas (ON)||Eurico Rosa Da Silva||119||Roger L. Attfield||15/1|
|2||Mutakayyef (GB)||DANE O’NEILL||121||William J. Haggas||5/2|
|3||Arod (IRE)||Oisin Murphy||119||Peter W. Chapple-Hyam||10/1|
|4||Glenville Gardens (KY)||Gary Boulanger||121||Sid C. Attard||12/1|
|5||Full Mast (KY)||Joel Rosario||117||William I. Mott||15/1|
|6||Passion for Action (ON)||Luis Contreras||121||Michael P. De Paulo||20/1|
|7||Mr. Owen (PA)||Jamie P. Spencer||117||Francois Rohaut||15/1|
|8||Tepin (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||121||Mark E. Casse||4/5|