Is Tepin the Fastest Thoroughbred in the World?

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Every once in a while, Thoroughbred racehorses come along that are so brilliant, so fast, and so breathtaking that they cause your jaw to drop no matter where they run, no matter what they do. With their effortless strides and will to win, they inspire us with amazing performances that remind us how athletic and gifted Thoroughbreds can be.

The five-year-old mare Tepin is such a horse. Ever since last fall, when she won the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Mile against a top-notch field of horses shipping in from all over the world, Tepin has seemed unstoppable, and as fast as she was then, she seems to be even faster now. On April 16th at Keeneland racetrack in Kentucky, Tepin caused jaws to drop yet again when she won the Jenny Wiley Stakes in the easiest way imaginable, leaving her challengers far behind while never being asked for her best run. Despite galloping across the finish line with speed in reserve, Tepin’s winning time of 1 minute, 40.53 seconds for 1 1/16th miles was the fastest winning time in the history of the Jenny Wiley Stakes, which dates back to 1989.

Ever since the early days of formal Thoroughbred horse racing in England, races at one mile in distance have been one of the truest tests of a Thoroughbred’s abilities, requiring horses to possess a perfect blend of speed and stamina to win at a distance that is longer than a sprint but shorter than a long-distance race. Over the last several months, Tepin has stamped herself as clearly the best “miler” in the United States, and now she might get a chance to prove that she is the best in the world. Tepin’s only Achilles’ heel is that she doesn’t run as well in warm weather, so to avoid the summer heat in the United States, her owner and trainer are thinking of taking her across the ocean to run at the most prestigious race meet in the country where formal horse racing was born. If all goes well, Tepin will take on the world in the one-mile Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting in England, which is attended every year by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen Anne Stakes has been won in recent years by some of the best horses in Europe, including the French star Solow, who has lost only one race since the summer of 2013. Solow has his eye on a repeat victory in the Queen Anne this summer, and defeating him will not be an easy task. But if Tepin can do it—outrun Solow on the greatest stage racing has ever known—she will not only stamp herself as the fastest miler in the world, she will stamp her place in the history books as one of the greatest racehorses of all time.

In preparation for the Queen Anne Stakes, Tepin is expected to run in a race at Churchill Downs on May 7th, the same day as the Kentucky Derby. Two races are under consideration: the Distaff Turf Mile, which Tepin won last year, and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, a race that has never been won by a filly or mare. Although the exact schedule hasn’t been finalized, both races are expected to be broadcast live by NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. If you’re planning to watch the Kentucky Derby, be sure to tune in early and watch Tepin as well!

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and racing enthusiast who considers Zenyatta to be his all-time favorite racehorse. He is the founder of the horse racing website TheTurfBoard.com and writes for the Bloodhorse.com blog Unlocking Winners.

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