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Record-Breaking Night As Songbird, Tepin Star At Fasig

Among the many accomplishments on champion Tepin (Bernstein)’s lengthy CV, perhaps none was as impressive or noteworthy as her victory in the 2016 G1 Queen Anne S. at Royal Ascot. The $4.4-million earner will be heading back overseas after Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier went to $8 million to pick her up. Offered in foal to Curlin, she was consigned by ELiTE Sales as Hip 130.

“It’s a lot of money, but she was an excellent racehorse, and she’s very good looking,” said Magnier, noting that Tepin would be mated to Coolmore’s world-leading sire Galileo (Ire) next season. “She was a good 2- year-old, but she was good up until the age of five… [Trainer] Mark Casse did an incredible job with her throughout her career, and we’re also very
happy for [owner] Robert Masterson and his family that he got such a good price for such a good mare.”

Purchased for $140,000 by Robert Masterson with help from Deuce Greathouse at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, Tepin annexed the GIII Delta Princess S. on the dirt at two but blossomed at age four on the grass. An upset winner of the GII Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby day, she doubled up in the GI Just a Game S. five weeks later. After two close finishes–including when second to Monday’s $1.85-million seller Dacita (Chi) (Scat Daddy) in the GII Ballston Spa S.–she aired by seven lengths in Keeneland’s GI First Lady S. over Crowley’s Law (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who went for $1.1 million at Fasig. After beating the boys handily in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile back in Lexington, she secured her first of two Eclipse Award for champion grass mare. Tepin carried her win streak into 2016, taking six straight, including the aforementioned Queen Anne and GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile. The bay concluded her racing career with runner-up efforts in both the First Lady and Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“It made me cry–that’s all I can say,” said a visibly moved Masterson after shaking the hands of representatives of the Coolmore contingent.

Jockey Julien Leparoux, who rode Tepin in each of her last 15 starts, was also on hand to see her off. “It was great–she brought a lot of money and I’m happy she’s going to a good home,” the Frenchman said. “It’s special to see her back here… We’ll miss her for sure–not only on the racetrack, but to be around. She was very nice too and very special to be around. We will definitely miss her.”

Bred by Machmer Hall, Tepin is a half-sister to MGSW Vyjack (Into Mischief) and a full to MGSP Prime Cut.

“A ton of people deserve credit, and I’m last–if I deserve anything at all,” ELiTE’s Bradley Weisbord said. “Robert Masterson and Deuce Greathouse bought a beautiful Bernstein filly at Saratoga. Then they entrusted Mark Casse to train her. Mark and Norm did a world-class job not only to get her started at two, break her maiden at Keeneland and win a graded stake on the dirt and win the Breeders’ Cup Mile, but then to take her to Royal Ascot and do something no American-trained horse had ever done before, which is win a group stake over a [route] distance, was unbelievable. Then, after that, Hill ‘n’ Dale did a wonderful job to breed her to Curlin–who’s as hot as any sire in the world–and get her in foal on one cover. Lastly, Arthur Hancock’s Stone Farm had her for the last 100 days preparing her for this auction. We got a lay- up–you couldn’t miss with this mare.”

Weisbord admitted that while he had high hopes for Tepin, the price tag exceeded those expectations.

“Did I think she’d bring $8 million? No, but the market is as strong as it’s ever been during my time in the horse business, which is 10 years, but really–if you study it–it’s stronger than ever,” he said. “I’m glad that an amazing friend, Mr. Masterson, who I’ve known since I was born, was able to be the beneficiary of this mare, and that she’s going to such a wonderful home. I only hope that we’ll get to see her babies back in the States.” –@BDiDonatoTDN