Champion Tepin confirmed for Queen Anne Stakes

Tepin, with Julien Leparoux up, won the the Breeder's Cup Mile in 2015.
Tepin, with Julien Leparoux up, won the the Breeder's Cup Mile in 2015. Lexington Herald-Leader

Champion turf female Tepin will ship to England for a start in the Group I Queen Anne Stakes on June 14, trainer Mark Casse confirmed Sunday.

Tepin’s status for the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting had come under question Saturday after Casse stated there was concerned over the fact the bay mare would not be able to use her breathing strip for the Queen Anne, per England’s racing regulations. After discussing the matter with owner Robert Masterson Saturday afternoon, the decision was made to press on with overseas venture.

“We’re going,” Casse said Sunday morning. “It’s just something that Mr. Masterson really wants to do. We looked at everything and as long as she is still happy and healthy, it’s a dream of his. Unless we were concerned that it was detrimental to her health, that would stop us. But all looks good so it’s a go. It’s been a busy morning making hotel and flight arrangements.”

Tepin worked without the anti-bleeder medication Lasix and without her nasal strip Saturday when she covered five furlongs in 1:01.60 over the Churchill Downs main track. Casse said the 5-year-old daughter of Bernstein was “great” the morning after that move and that she is slated to have another work at Churchill this coming Friday before shipping to England.

“I believe she (Tepin) has to go to Lexington to go to quarantine on Sunday just for a day or something and then last I heard she’s flying out of Indianapolis,” Casse said of the shipping plans.

With multiple Group I winner Solow declared out of the Queen Anne earlier this month, Tepin looms as the heavy favorite over male rivals when she races over a straight mile for the first time.

She captured the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland last October 31, defeating English invader Mondialiste by 2  1/4 lengths. That victory capped off a campaign that saw Tepin win five of seven starts, including three Grade I triumphs, en route to earning the Eclipse Award for champion turf female.

Tepin has become even more versatile while remaining dominant as ever in 2016. Under regular rider Julien Leparoux, Tepin has won all four of her starts this season, including a five-length triumph in the Grade I Jenny Wiley Stakes going 1  1/16 -miles at Keeneland; and a one-length score in the Grade II Hillsborough Stakes going 1  1/8 -miles at Tampa Bay Downs. She most recently captured the Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes on May 7.

Bred by Machmer Hall, Tepin has won 11 of 19 career starts with earnings of $3,078,253.

Alicia Wincze Hughes: 859-231-1676, @horseracinghl