Trainer Graham Motion said that stable star Miss Temple City will not run at Keeneland thanks to a minor injury and some missed training time at Palm Meadows in Florida last month.
The three-time Grade 1 winner and earner of $1.4 million dropped her exercise rider and ran loose through the stable area in early March and emerged with some filling in a leg. She missed some training, including two works, at Palm Meadows to shelve the idea of running at Keeneland in the Jenny Wiley or Maker’s 46 Mile this month. Miss Temple City was hacking on the dogleg area adjacent to the track at Palm Meadows, dropped her rider while acting up and ran back to the barn.
“She ran from about the farthest point at Palm Meadows you can get back to the barn,” said Motion. “I’m not sure how she found the barn. If it happened earlier in the winter it wouldn’t have mattered, but to get to Keeneland for a race like that, with a horse who’s been off, you can’t afford to miss much training. You’re on a week-to-week breeze schedule. When she missed one breeze we were probably OK, but when she missed the second one we just couldn’t see doing it.”
Miss Temple City shipped back to Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland last week and is in training for a slightly delayed 2017 debut in the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day. The big goal is still a return to Royal Ascot in June, and Motion said the schedule works fine for that.
She looked as good as ever – maybe better – while galloping on Fair Hill’s Tapeta track Tuesday.
“She looks bigger and stronger to me this year than she did last year,” said Motion. “She looks amazing and has trained really well. It was just bad timing really. She’s fine and I’m hoping to breeze her this weekend.”
She last worked March 4, a half-mile on the turf at Palm Meadows a few days before the incident but she has been back galloping for a few weeks.
Missing Keeneland alters the schedule, and costs Miss Temple City a chance to run on what might be her favorite racetrack. Owned by a partnership of The Club Racing, Sagamore Farm and Needle In A Haystack, she has run four times at the Kentucky track (all first and seconds). In 2015, she was second behind Lady Eli in the Grade 3 Appalachian in April and second again (beaten a head) in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth in October. Last year, the daughter of Temple City won the Maker’s 46 Mile in April and Shadwell Turf Mile, both Grade 1 and both against males.
She’s competed at Royal Ascot twice, finishing fourth in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes in 2015 and fourth again in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge last year. Motion will nominate to the Queen Anne (which American champion Tepin won last year) and the Duke of Cambridge this year.
She comes into 2017 with six wins (three Grade 1), three seconds and two thirds in 16 starts so could easily be a broodmare rather than a racehorse.
“It’s cool that these guys want to do it,” Motion said of a third English trip. “It’s a real challenge and I’m fortunate they want to race her another year and even more so that they want to go to Ascot. We’ll fall back to the Churchill race and if everything goes well go back to Ascot.”