12,089 1,936 1,778 1,598 $105,841,328 16 % 45 %
2015 to December 1
876 156 142 127 $13,576,559 17 % 45 %

2015 Eclipse Awards: Tepin
Emily Shields
Tepin began the year as a promising 4-year-old filly in trainer Mark Casse’s stable. She ended the season as a leading candidate for the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding turf female.
Along the way, Tepin won five of seven starts in Florida, Kentucky, and New York. She was unbeaten in four starts at a mile. When it meant the most, she was at her best for owner Robert Masterson.
Tepin’s win against males in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 31 left Casse in tears, filled with pride for what the filly had accomplished and how his son and assistant, Norman, had helped guide her campaign.
Tepin’s campaign started on a Saturday in March in south Florida, where she won her first start in seven months in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park. That was her third win in nine career starts. At 2, Tepin won the Delta Downs Princess Stakes, but she struggled at 3 in 2014, going winless in four starts, all stakes.
The win in the optional claimer was a bright start to the 2015 season and led to a brilliant spring. Early on the afternoon that American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby, Tepin won the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs. Seven weeks later, hours before American Pharoah swept the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, Tepin won the first Grade 1 of her career in the $700,000 Just a Game Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile on turf at Belmont.
The Saratoga season was not as kind. Tepin lost two starts by about a neck, finishing second by a nose to Hard Not to Like in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf in July and second by a head to Dacita in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes on Aug. 29. She has not lost since.
Returning to one-mile races, Tepin was the 8-5 favorite in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes for fillies and mares on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 3. Ridden by regular jockey Julien Leparoux, Tepin stalked the pace in the $700,000 race and won by seven lengths, the widest margin of victory in her career.
The performance gave Tepin solid credentials for the BC Mile. Conditions at Keeneland in the autumn fit Tepin well. The turf was soft for the First Lady and was listed as “good” for the BC Mile. Leparoux guided Tepin to a repeat performance of the First Lady, albeit one against a tougher field. Tepin was second for the first six furlongs, took the lead on the turn, and stormed clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths over the European Mondialiste.
Tepin, bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall and bought for $140,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected sale as a yearling, became the first filly or mare to win the BC Mile since Goldikova won the race for the third straight year at Santa Anita in 2010. They are part of a group of female winners that includes Royal Heroine, Miesque, Ridgewood Pearl, and Six Perfections.
In 2015, Tepin showed she belongs on that list.

Casse uses home-track edge in OBS Championship
Nick Fortuna, DRF 
 As an Ocala resident who regularly trains horses at the Ocala Training Center, trainer Mark Casse had something of a home-track advantage at the 27th annual OBS Day of Champions on Tuesday, or at least it appeared that way as his Whatawonderflworld overcame a wide trip to score by one length over Two Step Time in the $100,000 males’ division of the OBS Championship.
The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. puts on an annual day of racing at the OTC, offering four stakes races for 3-year-olds who have passed through the auction ring here. As usual, the card drew several thousand local residents for the only day of live racing in Marion County, the heart of Florida horse country. Fans packed the OTC’s small grandstand and lined the outer rail for the length of the stretch, either standing or sitting in lawn chairs. 
Parimutuel wagering was only permitted on the first two races of the five-race card due to the terms of the OTC’s Quarter Horse racing permit. The races were run on the OTC’s synthetic Safetrack surface.
Whatawonderflworld, a gelding by Tiz Wonderful, was ridden by Jose Lezcano for Casse and owner Gary Barber. The horse sold for $50,000 last June at OBS.  
All three of Whatawonderflworld’s prior starts had come on turf against fellow New York-breds last fall, including wins in a $60,000 maiden special weight race at Belmont Park in October and a first-level optional $75,000 claimer at Aqueduct in November. Whatawonderflworld has earned $136,200 through four starts.
On Tuesday, he raced four wide early as the eventual third-place finisher, Golden Ray, took the field of 12 through a quarter-mile in 23.40 seconds, a half-mile in 47.40, and six furlongs in 1:12.00. Whatawonderflworld stalked three wide around the final turn and surged to the front down the lane, finishing the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:45.00.
“I was really concerned about how wide he was,” Casse said. “This was not an easy race, but this horse is a pretty good horse. Maybe I’ve underestimated him. Maybe he’s better than I thought. We got hung out wide, and he ran a big race because he was always under pressure.”

Conquest Big E all set for Holy Bull
Mike Welsh, DRF
There were 11 “Conquest” horses on Sunday’s work tab at the Palm Meadows training center, including Conquest Big E, who will launch his 3-year-old campaign as one of the favorites in Saturday’s Grade 2 Holy Bull.
“If you thought there were a lot of Conquests on the work tab, wait until you see the entries this weekend,” quipped Mark Casse, who trains all those Conquest horses for one of his principal owners, Conquest Stables LLC.
Conquest Big E worked an easy half-mile in 49 seconds in his final major prep for the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull. Conquest Big E is a son of Tapit, who also sired the undefeated Mohaymen, the likely favorite in the Holy Bull.
Casse said Sunday’s drill was a “maintenance work” for Conquest Big E.
“We usually put in our big work a couple of weeks out, then come back with an easy breeze like this one, and he did it nicely, in company, going head to head with Kaigun,” Casse said.
Casse said he thought the local surface would be more conducive to Conquest Big E’s stalking style than to the late-running style of his other major Kentucky Derby prospect, Airoforce, who is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut Feb. 13 in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
“I’m not sure at this point who is going to be in the Holy Bull, but it doesn’t look like a whole lot of speed in there, and I think you’ll see Conquest Big E up near the lead,” said Casse. “That was the reason for our decision to run him here and Airoforce at Tampa. Airoforce is the kind of horse you’ve got to let settle and come with a big run, and that style is just not as effective at Gulfstream.”
Airoforce, whose only loss in four career starts was a neck setback in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, breezed four furlongs in 48 seconds at Palm Meadows on Monday, according to Casse, with his regular rider, Julien Leparoux, aboard.
“He’ll come back with a bigger work next week, and that will be the deciding factor on whether he goes to Tampa,” said Casse.
Two of the other Conquest horses who breezed Sunday, Conquest Daddyo and Conquest Bebop, also will run in stakes races Saturday at Gulfstream. Conquest Daddyo goes in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy and Conquest Bebop in the $100,000 Sweetest Chant. Casse said he had originally planned on running Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Catch a Glimpse in the Sweetest Chant, but she got sick and missed a work. Casse plans to hold her out until the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on Feb. 27. Catch a Glimpse also worked over the main track at Palm Meadows on Monday.
Casse sent out a pair of winners, Frosty Friday and Conquest Dynasty, on Sunday’s card.