The 106 Beyer Speed Figure she was assigned falls pretty much into line with her best numbers, so some people might insist otherwise, but no matter what fig she got, Tepin did not run her best race in winning Saturdays Woodbine Mile.Now, before her legion of fans gets all worked up and drags out the pitchforks, let me add this:It says a lot about Tepin -- about her character and heart -- that she could fall short of her best performance, and still beat seven male opponents in a Grade 1, $1 million race such as the Woodbine Mile. Many, many top horses over the years had days when, for whatever reason, they did not produce their best performances, and were beaten because of it. Not Tepin on Saturday.So in that sense, Tepins win was more revealing, and maybe even worthy of more appreciation, than some of her victories when she was at the top of her game and blew out overmatched opposition.Whether it was because this was her first start in three months, or first start since her successful journey to and from Royal Ascot, or because of the hot spell early in the Saratoga meet that appeared to set her back a bit, or the rain-slickened turf course that might have been trickier than many realize, or some combination of all of the above, the Tepin we all have come to know and appreciate wouldnt have had to work as hard as she did to deny Tower of Texas.Tower of Texas is a hard-hitting gelding and Id love to own him, but he has a well-established ceiling, and that ceiling is well short of Tepin territory.But on the plus side, even if Tepin was forced to dig deeper than anticipated Saturday, the outcome of the Woodbine Mile was never really in doubt once she sidled up to the lead in upper stretch. And I personally found it interesting that Tepin galloped out in front, never letting anyone else get by.Tepin will face better company than she turned away Saturday in her next start at Keeneland, even if she opts for the First Lady over the Shadwell Turf Mile (they are both Oct. 8 at a mile), and she will of course face much better when she attempts a defense of her title in the Breeders Cup Mile. That means she will have to perform better. I have no doubt she will. Tepin is a champion.Saturday notes* I was not surprised that Not This Time was much the best winning the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs. But I was still bowled over by his extremely impressive performance, which was, for my money, the best showing by a 2-year-old so far this year.I was less taken with Not This Time being four to five wide all the way around the track than I was with the fact that even breaking in the air failed to compromise his performance by one iota. I think it was best to be away from the inside on Saturdays off track at Churchill. Yet despite a poor start, Not This Time still won by almost nine lengths.The most impressive thing about Not This Time is the way he finishes. In his maiden win going a mile at Ellis last month, Not This Time went his last quarter of a mile in 23.33 seconds, which is flying for a 2-year-old on dirt no matter how slow the early fractions were.On Saturday, Not This Time completed his 1-1/16 miles in 1:45.22, which was a gaping 1.97 seconds faster than Daddys Lil Darling required to win the Pocahontas Stakes two races later. But thats only the start of it.The pace in the Iroquois to the half was 2.07 seconds slower than the pace of the Pocahontas. Yes, the Pocahontas fell apart late. But still, Not This Time did some serious running, all while barely being asked and with no competition whatsoever to prompt him, to close that time gap and fashion one of his own, essentially engineering a four-second turnaround.Most impressive.* Speaking of pace, the pace in Woodbines Northern Dancer was beyond laughable, with fractions of 26.97, 53.99, and 1:19.92.It rained at Woodbine on Saturday, and the 1-1/2-mile distance of the Northern Dancer was considerably longer than the two other big turf stakes on the card, but neither factor is enough to explain these fractions.The available corresponding fractions for the Canadian Stakes, run two races before the Northern Dancer, were 23.85 and 46.42. The fractions for the Woodbine Mile, run two races after the Northern Dancer, were 23.38, 46.41, and 1:10.45.Obviously, the performances of the horses who were on or close to what passed for a pace in the Northern Dancer must be sharply devalued.* Were lucky to have some very, very good 3-year-old turf fillies this year, a group led by Catch a Glimpse and Time and Motion. You can also put the name On Leave, decisive winner of of the Sands Point at Belmont, near the top of the list.The Sands Point was On Leaves fourth straight victory and second straight stakes score. And while it is true she got loose early Saturday through easy fractions, Im of the belief that this is not her preferred running style. I think On Leave is most effective closing. But what makes her so good (and dangerous) is she is versatile enough to adapt to different situations. Cheap Jordans For Sale Wholesale .05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal. 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Those under a certain age might not realize that once upon a time, many of the big fall stakes in New York were the sports championship-defining events. And then the Breeders Cup was born, and everything changed.This is not a knock on the Breeders Cup. Its a great event, even with its few flaws. But it is to say no racing circuit in America sacrificed more for the benefit of the Breeders Cup than the New York Racing Association, and no circuit has seen so many of its major races so devalued as a result.Its not even remotely close. On either count.Well before the Breeders Cup existed, New Yorks Jockey Club Gold Cup was for decades the de facto Breeders Cup Classic. The same was true of the Beldame, which was the forerunner to the Breeders Cup Distaff; the Champagne, which was as comparably title-defining as the Breeders Cup Juvenile, more so than any other fall 2-year-old stakes of the time; and the Frizette was the same before the advent of the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies.That is why it is painful for people who well remember what these big fall stakes events at Belmont Park once were to see what has become of them. Saturdays Jockey Club Gold Cup, Champagne, and Frizette each drew fields of only six. And last Saturdays Beldame lured a field of only seven. That in itself wouldnt be bad if they were the right six or seven horses in each race. But with other tracks running their big Breeders Cup preps in the same time frame, getting the right six or seven in one stakes this time of year just cant happen.The Champagne did attract an interesting field, and it is possible a couple of its entrants might go on to be title contenders, but the Frizette drew a less inspiring field. More troubling were the fields the Beldame and Gold Cup lured. Not a single entrant in either one of those once mighty events can be considered a prime contender for a divisional Eclipse Award, let alone Horse of the Year honors.So what can be done about the alarming decline of major fall racing in New York? It seems to me there are three courses of action:** One thing is to do nothing. Just recognize that things never stay the same, and accept that New York racing in the fall will never again be what it once was. Personally, I think this would be tragic, allowing stakes of this magnitude to wither without event attempting to restore them.** Another path would be to be pro-active, and stop allowing New Yorks best fall stakes races to be subservient to a Breeders Cup that doesnt appear to care much about New York racing.The last time the Breeders Cup was held in New York was in 2005, when it was run at Belmont Park. And the earliest the Breeders Cup could return to New York is 2019, because after it is run this year at Santa Anita, it is promised to Del Mar in 2017, and to Churchill Downs in 2018. This will be the sixth Breeders Cup at Santa Anita alone since there was a Breeders Cup in New York. The 2018 Cup will be the fourth at Churchill Downs alone since a New York Breeders Cup.This is just plain wrong, and there is plenty of blame to go aroound.ddddddddddddUnpredictable and untenable management situations at the NYRA had a lot to do with it, as did heavy-handed state government oversight, and simple inertia. The desire on the part of a past Breeders Cup administration to make Santa Anita the permanent host site was a major factor, too.Whatever, two unmistakable, and not coincidental, outcomes of this freeze out have been the marginalization of New Yorks fall stakes program, and how Belmont Park itself seems an unpopular prep locale for bigger events run elsewhere because of the unique configuration of the track.Belmonts main track is 1-1/2 miles in circumference, the largest in the nation. And that means the Beldame, Champagne, and Frizette are run around one turn, and the Gold Cup is run around 1-1/2 turns with an awkward starting gate placement. Horsemen have demonstrated that despite the history and prestige of the big New York fall stakes, when it comes to two turn Breeders Cup races, true two turn preps at tracks other than Belmont are simply more appealing.This has eroded participation in these New York events, and will continue to do so the longer Belmont Park goes without a Breeders Cup.A way to be pro-active in protecting Belmonts big fall stakes would, in the absence of the hope the Breeders Cup will ever return to New York, require the bold decision of no longer casting these races in as Breeders Cup preps, and finding a way to make them stand alone events they once were.Whether that means putting them in direct competition with the Breeders Cup (which, admittedly, would make them consolation prizes in the initial years), or, say, moving them to Thanksgiving weekend at Aqueduct along with the Cigar Mile and afford horses who competed in the Breeders Cup another opportunity to make or enhance their championship credentials, taking races like the Gold Cup out of subservient roles might revitalize them.** The third, and far more preferable option would be to get the Breeders Cup back to Belmont as soon as possible. I understand that you can get crappy weather in the Northeast in late October and early November. I understand that you never have to roll the weather dice when Santa Anita is the host. I also understand that Santa Anita is a tremendous site for the Breeders Cup, and they do a tremendous job with it every time they host it. I love that track.But the Breeders Cup was intended at its origin to be a moveable event, so fans in various corners of the country would have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacle, and so that, over time, there would be no home court advantage for horsemen based in a specific geographical area. A Breeders Cup at Belmont Park would instantly make the Gold Cup, Beldame and other stakes THE most desirable preps that year. And I suspect it would have a positive carryover effect as well, re-emphasizing to new eyes how great these fall stakes races in New York were, and still might be. 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