Tepin: Breeders’ Cup Mile winner has the Queen Anne on her agenda
PICTURE: Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos
Preview: USA, Saturday 10.32pm BST (live on ATR)
Keeneland: Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (Grade 1) 1m½f, turf, 4yo+ f/m
BREEDERS’ CUP winner Tepin (Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux) has her final US start before a proposed visit to Royal Ascot for the Queen Anne Stakes when she lines up as a dominant favourite for the Jenny Wiley.
Back at her favourite venue where she beat the males in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, the five-year-old has won her last four starts.
But for a nose and a head, she would have won her last nine as she bids to complete a hat-trick for 2016 after a pair of minor Graded successes at Tampa Bay.
However, there is a potential fly in the ointment in this $350,000 contest as Tepin’s rivals include Dacita (Chad Brown/Javier Castellano), the last filly to beat her when she went down by a head in the Grade 1 Ballston Spa at Saratoga last summer. Dacita, who had a recent tune-up at Gulfstream, is also 3lb better off here.
French Group 3 winner Wekeela (Chad Brown/Gary Stevens) makes her US debut after leaving Jean-Claude Rouget.
Also on Saturday
Oaklawn Park: Oaklawn Hcap (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 4yo+ (11.09pm BST)
Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Effinex (Jimmy Jerkens/Mike Smith) carries topweight in this $750,000 contest – but he needs to turn around recent form with Melatonin (David Hofmans/Joe Talamo), who landed a shock victory last time in the Santa Anita Handicap. A 6lb pull at the weights cannot hurt his chances.
Upstart (Rick Violette/Joe Bravo) won the local Grade 3 prep, while Blofeld (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) took the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap last time out.
Oaklawn Park: Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo (Sun 12.18am BST)
This the last of the major $1 million Kentucky Derby trials, won 12 months ago by subsequent Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. His trainer Bob Baffert is back again with morning-line favourite Cupid (Martin Garcia).
The son of Tapit, a 14-1 chance for the Kentucky Derby with Ladbrokes, has made great strides since being sent around two turns and, like American Pharoah, he won the Grade 2 Rebel here on his most recent start, easily handling runner-up Whitmore (Ron Moquett/Irad Ortiz).
Ladbrokes: 5-4 Cupid, 9-2 Whitmore, 6 Suddenbreakingnews, 10 American Pioneer, Gettysburg, 12 Creator, 16 Dazzling Gem, Unbridled Outlaw, 33 Luna de Loco, 40 Discreetness, Gray Sky, 100 Cutacorner
Keeneland: Lexington Stakes (Grade 3) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo (9.59pm BST, live on ATR)
The big name here is Swipe (Keith Desormeaux/Flavien Prat), runner-up to Kentucky Derby favourite Nyquist in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where Riker (Mark Casse/Florent Geroux) was sixth.
Front-running Collected (Bob Baffert/Javier Castellano) blotted his copybook when a beaten favourite at Oaklawn two runs back but forgive that run and he looks dangerous; he got back on track last time at Sunland. Castellano gets a rare call from Baffert.
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