03/16/2016 2:30PM

Tepin sharp again


The margin of victory was only a length, but TEPIN was miles the best in last Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Hillsborough Stakes for fillies and mares at nine furlongs over the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.

Tepin, profiled in-depth in the October 7, 2015 (http://www.drf.com/blogs/tepin-breeders-cup-mile) edition of FormBlog, enjoyed a huge season last year. She compiled a record of 7-5-1-0, grabbed three Grade 1 races including the Breeders' Cup Mile against males, scored at Gulfstream, Churchill, Belmont and Keeneland, and came within a head and a nose from being undefeated for the entire campaign.

Deservingly, she was named champion female turf runner and the announcement that she would return to the races in 2016 was met with great excitement.

Now 5, Tepin beat a good field in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes last month at Tampa Bay and was heavily-favored to land the Hillsborough despite being asked to stretch her ability to nine furlongs. That distance had proved elusive in the past as Tepin's prior record at the trip was 3-0-1-0. Many observers believe that the mare is best at a flat mile.

There appeared to be a decent amount of speed signed on for the Hillsborough, but ISABELLA SINGS erased any doubt on who would occupy the role of pacesetter in the first five strides. Vigorously sent to the lead by John Velazquez, the Todd Pletcher-trained Isabella Sings, winner of the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere for 3-year-old fillies last fall at Churchill, opened up an 18-length lead after a half-mile in a swift 45.95. It was a heady move by Velazquez, who guessed that his best chance of upsetting the favorite was to take a big edge and hope that Tepin wouldn't stay the distance.

"Todd (Pletcher) said to me ‘When she (Isabella Sings) breaks, drop your hands down and let her go as fast as she can," Velazquez told track publicity following the Hillsborough. "That’s her weapon.’ So I didn’t take a hold of her and let her do her own thing."

Meanwhile, Julien Leparoux was stuck between a rock and a hard place aboard Tepin. If he moved too soon in attempting to erode Isabella Sing's advantage, Tepin's kick could be compromised. If he waited too long, Isabella Sings would be gone. Leparoux put his trust in the mare and he rode the champion with confidence into the turn. Isabella Sings still had a big lead with three-sixteenths to run, but Tepin extended her stride, caught Isabella Sings under mere hands-and-heels urging, and went by under her own power. Tepin stopped the teletimer in track record time of 1:46.26 and received a 107 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I knew (Isabella Sings) was going fast, but when that happens, you almost have to not pay attention to the one in front," Leparoux said. "Johnny (Velazquez) came back a little at the half-mile pole, but my horse had to fight hard today, which is good. I didn’t whip her because I could feel she was running for me. She had to have a big race to win, and she did.”

Despite the good pace up front, none of the closers made an impact. Grade 1 winner BALL DANCING, unraced since Belmont Stakes Day, finished an even eighth while stablemate and Grade 1-placed performer DANZA CAVALLO ran a punchless sixth. Grade 3 winners BUTTON DOWN (fifth) and RAINHA DA BATERIA (seventh) were also invisible.

Tepin will likely make her next start at Keeneland. The Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile against males on April 15 is a possibility as is the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley versus fellow fillies and mares six days earlier. If trainer Mark Casse opts for the former, Tepin will probably face a strong challenge from the razor-sharp HEART TO HEART.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 3/8/16 - 3/14/16:

1. TEPIN - 107 - Hillsborough Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 12Mar16-10TAM
2. MELATONIN - 106 - Santa Anita Handicap (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - 12Mar16-10SA
2. WHAT A VIEW - 106 - Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 12Mar16-6SA
4. SALUTOS AMIGOS - 104 - Tom Fool Handicap (G3) - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 12Mar16-8AQU
5. SEND IT IN - 103 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - 12Mar16-5AQU
6. DANZING CANDY - 100 - San Felipe Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 12Mar16-7SA
6. DESTIN - 100 - Tampa Bay Derby (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 12Mar16-11TAM
8. POWER ALERT (AUS) - 99 - Silks Run Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 12Mar16-7GP
9. KOBE'S BACK - 98 - San Carlos Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - 12Mar16-9SA
9. MISS MATZOBALL - 98 - Captive Island Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 12Mar16-11GP
11. CONQUEST TYPHOON - 97 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 12Mar16-9GP
11. UNBRIDLED JUAN - 97 - Alw 38000N1X - 1 Mile - 13Mar16-9GP
11. TURCO BRAVO (CHI) - 97 - Stymie Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 13Mar16-8AQU
14. APOLOGYNOTACCEPTED - 96 - Md Sp Wt 36k - 6 Furlongs - 11Mar16-8GP
14. GENEROSIDADE (URU) - 96 - San Luis Rey Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 13Mar16-8SA
14. MAKING HAVOC - 96 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 10Mar16-8AQU
17. DOYOUKNOWSOMETHING - 94 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/4 Miles - 10Mar16-6SA
17. ZIPESSA - 94 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 14Mar16-9FG
19. ILLUMINANT - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 10Mar16-7SA
20. ADIRONDACK KING - 92 - Challenger Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 12Mar16-3TAM
20. SEVENTH SENSE (TUR) - 92 - Md Sp Wt 58k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 12Mar16-5SA
22. CALI THIRTY SEVEN - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 13Mar16-11GP
22. ENDURANCE - 91 - Alw 23000NC - 7 Furlongs - 8Mar16-11HOU
22. GENTLEMAN'S HONOR - 91 - Clm c-(12.5-10)N2Y - 1 1/16 Miles - 13Mar16-6OP
22. NATCHEZ - 91 - Alw 79000N3L - 1 Mile - 12Mar16-6OP

*TEPIN's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*GENTLEMAN'S HONOR was claimed for $12,500 by trainer Allen Milligan from Robertino Diodoro.


Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Matt Bernier and I will be on for free and fun live handicapping analysis for Oaklawn, Santa Anita, Gulfstream and more beginning at 3pm ET on live.drf.com.


Congrats to fijiking for winning last week's HandiGambling challenge.

Let's go with Saturday's Rebel Stakes from Oaklawn for this week's exercise.


Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:

Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place.

The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING .

1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.

2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.

3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR POST. Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST SIGN YOURSELF AT THE END (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to identify who you are.

4. (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes. Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

**  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

** The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.

HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100

Thanks Dan!




TEPIN.pdf757.13 KB
Copy of HG 3 12 16 Tampa Bay Derby TAM.xls51 KB
HGREBEL.pdf190.43 KB
ed More than 1 year ago
Thanks Annie on the update. One of my horses actually going to race. I guess he wants to be Champion of 3/4 of a mile. Would not have been a great name. My other is lost in the back of Todd's stable. I need a miracle. Good luck to all MKB owners in the La. Derby. Looking like a great race and a nice card. edb
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Turf Ruler, Good job. Time spent with family is important too. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edb, That's why your CHAMPIONOFTHENILE didn't nominate to the Triple Crown. He wants to be a sprinter, and will make his debut in Race 8 at AQU. Sat., I think. Darn, I neglected to note which day. :) I'm sure you'll find it. Good luck!!! Annie
mike turfmonstr More than 1 year ago
Hey Guy's.... Did you ever hear of the saying "shoot yourself in the foot"? TVG is no different from watching the live race shows from any given track.....it's there to talk handicapping and betting....not to delve into why certain trainers win, or don't or what their transgressions have been or are......everyone is innocent till proven guilty......churning up that can of worms will have a huge negative affect on the bottom line and horse racing in general. There is a time and a place and it isn't during a live broadcast of a racing show.....good lord they have enough to deal with if a horse breaks down during a race...now lets say said horse is trained by a guy whose integrity they just questioned? Looks good on the resume but very bad for the game in general......You want to feel safer with your bets? do what I do bet turf....those guys rarely get involved.....Mike A
God Bless Longshots More than 1 year ago
TurfRuler I was wondering about your whereabouts last week when your picks didn't show up either here or at PH. So, good that you show up :) Go out this weekend and make some money especially Dubai World Cup where MSHAWISH and MUBTAAHIJ are eagerly waiting to fill up the wallet :) DavidM9999 Ref: Pachanga Party workout (46 3/5 BG) Whenever I see gate workout for any runner especially a veteran, it always raises a red flag and a question to me: Why a gate workout? It is never a good sign for me and I assume the horse has bad gate habits that possibly could compromise his chances at the most crucial part of the race i.e. the start. So to me, it is definitely not an eye catching workout but an alarm to be aware. Just my two cents :) GBL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SPARTAN TOM, There, your new MKB, MY MAN SAM, has been safely nominated to the Triple Crown for 6K! The Genie must have known something. :) Good luck!! ........................................................ DAN (brutus), Good luck to you and FRANK CONVERSATION in the UAE Derby on Sat.!!! Annie
pat More than 1 year ago
David The voice of racing? That is the eternal question.....and goes with the old Philosophy of PT Barnum....and with the new paradigm of REPORTING and the role of a free PRESS in today's world. Investigative reporting is mainly dead...as we(the culture) is happy with sound bites and managed messages. We hear things that are read on teleprompters and attribute BRILLIANCE to the people reading them. I am not sure we want to know everything(I do but I am odd) but there is a least some tacit cover up....in letting the entry box become full. So much fear by ownership to put on some sort of show that "bad" guys are allowed to operate with a bag full of tricks. The real question is WHAT DOES OWNERSHIP AND MANAGMENT really know about the trainers and the chemists? And where have you gone David Halberstam? Our horse hearts turn our lonely eyes to you?
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Pat, Thanks for reminding me that TVG’s mission is to operate a profitable wagering site. I tend to forget that even though it should be obvious. I agree their annoying Pick 4 tickets are nothing but sales jobs but overall as flawed as they are I am thankful we have a channel to view racing. Television and radio stations usually devote some programming time to public service. (Usually 5:30 am on weekends). Why can’t TVG still achieve its mission promoting gambling on horses and provide a show or two designed to honestly discuss the all issues inside the sport. It could be weekly or possibly just as simple as allowing discussion from the 12-1 pm slot before most racing begins. Can’t Rich Perloff once ask on the air ..how is this guy winning 35%. How do horses improve 25 BSF points when they enter a certain barn after their form has been well established in other credible barns. Why are suspensions allowed to appealed forever. Why can’t America get tough with cheaters like Europe and Austraila. Why isn’t there more money allocated to protect the animals that are racing. Why can’t we have universal standards in America. All this goes to a broader question. Who is the voice of the sport of horse racing. Does the sport even have a voice. The DRF certainly is not the voice. In fact it is following the path of TVG striving to become a betting platform. In fairness a few times a year Stephen Crist might weight in on something but he avoids the tough issues artfully like politicians who don’t want to disenfranchise any potential votes. Replace voter with trainer or jockey and that is Crist. The DRF has senior writers who are capable. At the DRF they seem reluctant to even report news much less express a hard hitting opinion about racing. When was last time Jay Hovdey wrote anything other than a feel good fluff piece. Hey I get an occasional feel good but every week should not be feel good. I don’t recall but was Joe Hirsch afraid to ask direct questions that begged asking or write what was uncomfortable. I am thinking Ray Paulick is about the only man in America willing to speak the uncomfortable. His site is growing but I imagine it will never be dominant. Bernard, Great breakdown of Dubai. Now I just need to locate some pp’s. XYZ Jet is quick and sharp. I do not think he stacks up against past winners but his chances depend upon who lines up against him. Very interesting on Keen Ice and Racing Post. I will likely take a horse there with more speed. We talk a bit about workouts on this site. Today in the 9th at GP a 3-1 ML horse called Pachanga Party runs. On paper he looks as good as anything in a low level claimer. His most recent work was 46 3/5 BG. So some would say that workout is eye catching, sharp horse, etc. Here is comment line you tell me…was really asked for speed, last 3/8th in 34.58 while under heavy pressure throughout. For me a couple terms are negative here “really asked” and “under heavy pressure throughout”. The clocker gave it a B but I do not like works that have these terms. Now this is an older horse with well-established form. If this was a maiden or debut type I would not be running to the windows regardless of final the clocking. Point being looking at raw workout times without context is a dangerous exercise. In same race Ju Jitsu Jax goes. He is 59-15-13-9 for almost $700k. Today he is entered for $6,250 and is 10 years old. I hope this is not the end of the road for this warrior. He is running off a 14 month layoff with a new trainer again as a 10 year old. Taking over a year off usually means a substantial injury occurred. Please take care of yourself JJJ. You owe us absolutely nothing. I read this week that Olivia Newton John’s long missing boyfriend has been found alive in Mexico after ten years. He apparently he had faked his own death. What am I missing? Why would any man fake his death to get AWAY from Olivia Newton John? I have not seen Olivia for years but my memory is this is a woman a man should not run from. I guess the next question is who was he running to?
Sinatra More than 1 year ago
Where is TurfRuler? Saturday this past weekend I attempted to handicap the PH and the HG races while allowing my daughter and grand daughters play the arcade games at Dave and Buster's in Concord, NC. They had fun, I was unable to log on to their wi-fi using their password 'THEPRICEISRIGHT" on my tablet. Oh well I missed a few races, but they had loads of fun, those non-eaters took home their left over's in take out boxes. On Sunday we all went to a NAM preliminary interview event. This a national pageant for young girls to compete against each other for local and national prizes. Something interesting for them to focus on instead of TV, music and games on their cell phones. Missed out on a few winners if I had chosen them from my handicapping, Jump Start and Stonetastic would have been top picks. So on to "Where is TurfRuler" on March 26th, 2016? Will I be stuck in my own psychic purgatory in my non-wagering state or will I escape using my free will and get to a wagering facility to make live bets? TurfRuler
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
ed Thanks for the encouragement. I think I play HG differently than many people. My goal is less to win any one week than to have positive ROI over time. I use it as a way to refine both my handicapping and my wagering strategy for when I bet live races. A "win" over this crowd would really be something to brag about, but not necessary to keep me interested. Good luck to all.