10/05/2017 11:30AM

Miss Temple City tries for repeat in Shadwell Turf Mile

Coady Photography
Miss Temple City wins the 2016 Shadwell Turf Mile over males.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – If Keeneland had its own Hall of Fame, well, Miss Temple City probably would already be in. Her sweep of the two Grade 1 turf miles at this track in 2016 seems sufficient for induction, and the fact that she was a filly beating males renders that feat all the more remarkable.

Now comes a bid from Miss Temple City for her own wing in that mythical place. Fresh from a confidence-building victory at Kentucky Downs, Miss Temple City once again will face the boys as one of the many intriguing story lines in what shapes up as a sensational 32nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile on Saturday.

“We all feel her last race is what was needed to get her back on track,” said Graham Motion, who trains Miss Temple City for a three-way partnership. “The whole idea was to get a prep for Keeneland, a track we know she’s always run well at. As for trying the boys again: A, she has nothing to prove, and B, she has nothing to lose.”

:: Get bonus PPs for Saturday’s card at Keeneland

Miss Temple City, with Edgar Prado to ride, will break from post 8 in a capacity field of 14 in the Shadwell, the ninth of 10 Saturday races. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.

The Shadwell, a Win and You’re In event toward the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar, anchors the richest card of the 17-day fall meet. Some 35,000 ontrack fans are expected to revel in warm autumn weather, in addition to a national television audience watching on NBC Sports. The Shadwell and the Breeders’ Futurity will be shown live on a one-hour broadcast (5-6 p.m.) also featuring the Jockey Club Gold Cup and a replay of the Champagne from Belmont Park. Those four races are linked together in a pick four available through most wagering outlets.

The Shadwell is one of those deep, wide-open races that require serious horseplayers to put in extra study time. Miss Temple City is a lukewarm morning-line favorite at 3-1 after going off form earlier this year before regathering herself with a measured triumph over Zipessa in the Sept. 9 Ladies Turf at Kentucky Downs.

“We really feel that she’s back on her game again,” said Motion.

As for the opposition, Heart to Heart (post 10, Florent Geroux) could prove a tough catch in search of his first Grade 1 victory. The speedy 6-year-old horse arrived here Tuesday from New York with his outstanding record of 13 wins (including nine graded stakes) from 30 starts and more than $1.35 million in earnings, with his last start resulting in a wire-to-wire score in the 1 1/16-mile Bernard Baruch at Saratoga.

In the Maker’s 46 Mile in the spring, Heart to Heart rated smartly, then led to deep stretch before being nailed by American Patriot, who also returns here Saturday.

“When we shorten him to a mile, there is always pace pressure,” trainer Brian Lynch told Keeneland publicity this week. “When he goes longer, he can shake loose.”

:: Get bonus PPs for the Belmont Park-Keeneland all-stakes pick four

American Patriot (post 14, Joe Bravo) was soundly defeated in both his starts since the Maker’s 46 and faces a tricky assignment from his outer post when looking to join Wise Dan (2014) and Miss Temple City as the only horses to win both Grade 1 turf miles here in the same year. A WinStar Farm homebred, American Patriot arrived here Monday for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Mondialiste (post 7, Feargal Lynch), the winner of the 2016 Arlington Million and fourth in the 2016 Shadwell, made an overseas trip to finish fourth in the Woodbine Mile last month in advance of another try here. Both he and Suedois (post 3, Daniel Tudhope), a steady 6-year-old gelding getting Lasix for the first time Saturday, are based in England with trainer David O’Meara.

Ballagh Rocks (post 6, Jose Lezcano), the winner of the Poker at Belmont in June, has improved noticeably as this year has unfolded for Bill Mott and seems a sleeper here.

Divisidero (post 2, Julien Leparoux), a multiple Grade 1 winner with a stout closing kick, has been trained for a higher degree of speed by Buff Bradley since finishing seventh in the 1 1/4-mile Arlington Million on Aug. 12.

The balance of the bulky Shadwell field is Tyler U, Le Ken, Dimension, Flatlined, Christian C, Offering Plan, and Applicator. Of those, perhaps Flatlined and Offering Plan have the best chances at a major upset or at least crashing the exotics.

The Shadwell, set for 5:45, is the last of five straight graded stakes and the anchor leg in a pick five (races 5-9) with a $250,000 pool guarantee and a pick four (races 6-9) with a $350,000 guarantee. The preceding races are the Grade 2 Woodford (race 5, 3:25), Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America (race 6, 4:00), Grade 1 First Lady (race 7, 4:35), and Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity (race 8, 5:10).

Thousands of college football fans will be in attendance here Saturday before making the short trip to nearby Kroger Field for the Missouri-Kentucky game, which kicks off at 7:30.