Miss Temple City earned her second Grade 1 victory against males on Oct. 8 in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland Race Course for her owners The Club Racing, Allen Rosenblum and Sagamore Farm.
At the Lexington racetrack on April 15, the Temple City filly also defeated males in the Makers' 46 Mile Stakes, but failed to reach the winner's circle against her own gender in three subsequent starts.
On Saturday, jockey Edgar Prado found the winning formula with a stalking trip behind early front-runner Pleuven. The duo took command in the stretch and held off a wide rally by Ironicus to win by a head. Tourist came in another half-length back in third.
Trained by Graham Motion, Miss Temple City finished the mile in 1:37.09 on firm turf.
“She’s the best filly I’ve ever trained,” Motion said. “She’s spectacular."
With the win, Miss Temple City earned an all-expenses-paid rip to the Breeders' Cup Mile via the “Win and You’re In” challenge series.
“My frustration was over the summer when it seemed we got a little lost with her. She had some tough trips. I’m glad the crew talked me into running her here today. I think I would have chosen to go the other way [and run her in the Grade 1 First Lady against females two races earlier]. But this was the right thing to do; we took a shot. She’s a very special filly.”—Jeremy Balan
FIRST LADY STAKES: Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux doesn’t get many calls from trainer Todd Pletcher, but when he does, he takes the mount.
And so it was that Desormeaux found himself speeding out to the early lead in the $400,000, Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland aboard Photo Call, opening a large margin, and leaving champion Tepin with too much work to do in her bid for a repeat victory.
“Todd told me to cover her up, but that was not going to happen,” Desormeaux said, and thankfully the audible worked out.
A 29-1 shot, Photo Call stole the one-mile First Lady by 2 3/4 lengths and left Tepin in her wake in second at the finish line. It was the first time since August 2015 that Tepin was beaten, snapping an eight-race win streak for the mare who trounced males in her past two starts.
Photo Call returned $61.40, $10.60, and $5.60 across the board.—Claire Novak
CLAIBORNE BREEDERS’ FUTURITY: John Oxley’s Classic Empire was on his best behavior Saturday at Keeneland, and the additional work his connections have done paid off with a victory in the $500,000, Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity.
The 2-year-old Pioneerof the Nile colt trained by Mark Casse infamously wheeled and dropped his rider at the start of the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes on Sept. 5 at Saratoga Race Course, but this time he ran straight and true to victory in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Futurity.
The final time was 1:43.41 on a fast track. Classic Empire paid $5.20, $4.20, and $3.60 under jockey Julien Leparoux.
“This is a very, very talented horse,” said Norm Casse, assistant to his father, Mark. “The day after the Hopeful, we got right to work on him. We put blinkers on him; we breezed him out of the gate several times. It paid dividends today. We’ll more forward from here. You’ve got to think this horse has plenty of room to improve.”
With the win, Classic Empire earned an all-expenses-paid rip to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile via the “Win and You’re In” challenge series.—Claire Novak
THOROUGHBRED CLUB OF AMERICA STAKES: Co-owner William S. Farish of Lane’s End enjoyed a particularly memorable win at Keeneland when Irish Jasper rallied up the rail to deny favorite Stonetastic victory in the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes.
With Irish Jasper’s 1 3/4-length triumph, the prominent Kentucky owner and breeder, who campaigns the First Defence filly with David Mackie, earned the Lexington track’s rare gold bowl following 24 graded wins at the Lexington track. He is only the second owner to attain the coveted gold bowl. The Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm received the bowl in 2003 with Yell’s triumph in the Raven Run Stakes.
Stonetastic, the 11-10 favorite, set the pace in the six-furlong race as Irish Jasper waited off the pace before a strong rail run with Julien Leparoux. She edged clear in the late stages, denying Stonetastic while covering six furlongs in 1:09.64.
Bendable was third and I’m a Looker fourth in the field of eight fillies and mares.
With the win, Irish Jasper earned an all-expenses-paid rip to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint via the “Win and You’re In” challenge series.—Myra Lewyn
WOODFORD STAKES PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT: Mongolian Saturday, winner of last year’s TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint returned to Keeneland to take the $150,000 Woodford Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select.
The 6-year-old son of Any Given Saturday covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.46.
Making his first start of the year in the U.S. after racing in Hong Kong and in a pair of races in England, Mongolian Saturday broke from post-position 12 in the Woodford and was quickly right on the early pace set by Shogood and Bucchero, who battled on the front end through an opening quarter of :21.75 and a half in a crisp :44.64.
Jockey Carlos Montalvo asked and Mongolian Saturday quickly responded by opening up on his 11 opponents in midstretch while making a three-wide move, hitting five furlongs in :56.90. He held off the late run of Hogy, who was next to last early, to win. Front Pocket Money and Galton finished in a dead-heat for third.
Mongolian Saturday paid $10.80, $6, and $4.40. Hogy paid $7.80 and $4.60.—Evan Hammonds