Tepin Wins 2016 Debut at Tampa Bay Downs
Tepin continued her winning ways Saturday with a 3 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/16 mile Grade 3 Lambholm South Endeavor Stakes. The 5 year-old 2015 Eclipse Champion Grass Mare ranged up the outside or on the far turn and showed her class sprinting home for victory on the turf over five rivals as the heavy 1-5 favorite.
“It was a perfect scenario for her comeback race,” jockey Julien Leparoux said. “They went slow the first part, which was great, and she relaxed beautiful and finished up strong. There is nothing much I can say except that was perfect. She’s got a big heart and she had a great kick at the end.”
Bred in Kentucky by Macher Hall, Tepin was purchased by Robert Masterson as a yearling for $140,000. Her career record now stands at 8-3-1 in 16 starts with over $2.5 million in earnings.
“These are once-in-a-lifetime horses,” said Masterson. “I’ve had a lot of graded horses, but this one, she’s a champion and she is just special.”
Tepin showed all signs of being eager to return to action for the first time since her Breeders’ Cup Mile win over the males. However, trainer Mark Casse expressed some concern with her preparation as three of her last four workouts were on the dirt at Palm Meadows Training Center because of rainy weather.
“It was a bit of a challenge getting her ready because of the weather…but she is a tough horse and has a lot of confidence.”
Casse has pointed Tepin towards the Grade l Maker’s Mark Mile against males at Keeneland on April 15. She will likely return to Churchill Downs Derby day May 7 to try for her second straight win in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.