Two-Time Champion Tepin Retired from Racing

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Tepin following her historic win in the Queen Anne | Horsephotos

By Alan Carasso

Tepin (Bernstein–Life Happened, by Stravinsky), a graded winner on the dirt at two who went on to thrash the boys in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile and became the first American-based winner of the G1 Queen Anne S. at Royal Ascot, has been retired from racing, owner Robert Masterson told the TDN Tuesday.

“Tepin is being retired. There is nothing physically wrong with her. She just isn’t interested in running any more,” Masterson told the TDN. “There are no plans to breed her this year. It’s too late, and we’ve not made any decision on her future.”

Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Tepin was a $140,000 purchase by Masterson out of the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale and broke her maiden at second asking over the Keeneland Polytrack before closing nicely to win the GIII Delta Downs Princess S. in November 2013. Switched to the grass midway during her sophomore season, Tepin was runner-up in the GII San Clemente H., but blossomed at four, leading throughout to annex the GII Distaff Turf Mile S. on the Kentucky Derby undercard before rallying from slightly off the pace for a maiden Grade I victory in the Just a Game S. on Belmont S. day (video). The bay endured tough-luck losses in the GI Diana S. and in the GII Ballston Spa S., but relished easy ground when romping home by seven against her peers in Keeneland’s GI First Lady S. (video) before a 2 1/4-length tally in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (video).

Tepin picked up in 2016 where she left off, with soft wins in the GIII Endeavour S. and GII Hillsborough S. at Tampa, a barnstorming five-length tour-de-force in the GI Jenny Wiley S. (video) and a successful defense of her title in the Distaff Turf Mile. Having overcome all challenges on these shores, connections readied Tepin for a start in the Queen Anne, the first race of the Royal Ascot meeting. Never far from the front over ground on the heavy side of soft, she surged to the lead in the final 100 yards and had a half-length on Belardo (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) at the wire (video).

Originally penciled in for a return to action in last year’s Ballston Spa, Tepin ultimately missed that engagement and was instead trained up to the GI Woodbine Mile, where she called on all her class to prevail by a half-length (video). Not quite able to reel in loose-on-the-lead Photo Call (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in defense of the First Lady, Tepin settled for second there and concluded her career with a gallant and tough-trip second behind Tourist (Tiznow) when in search of a second Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last November (video).

With an eye on a return trip to the United Kingdom this spring, Tepin returned to training in early 2017, but was ruled out of this year’s Endeavour in February after a minor colic attack, also dashing any plans of an appearance in the G1 Dubai Turf in late March. Tepin refused to break off into a work at Palm Meadows Mar. 27 and was subsequently relocated to Churchill Downs, but after mulling over their options since, the decision was made to retire the mare.

“After she refused to work at Palm Meadows, she was moved to Churchill to see if a change of venue would improve her attitude towards racing, and she basically has no interest in it any more,” Masterson explained. “She was always an enthusiastic worker, and enthusiastic in the mornings and about racing, and she is not any more.

“It’s time to let her retire. She’s done so much for us. She’s done everything she can possibly do. I think she’s been one of the greatest turf mares that has ever been. She doesn’t owe us anything. It’s all about the horse. She owes us nothing, and if that’s what she wants to do , that’s what we’re going to let her do. I appreciate all the fan support she’s had over the last few years. The joy she brought to people, her way of running and the successes that she’s had.”

Masterson said that Tepin remains in her stall at Churchill Downs, with a decision to come later as regards her relocation.

Trained throughout her career by Mark Casse, Tepin retires with a record of 23-13-5-1 and earnings of $4,437,918. —Additional reporting by Sue Finley

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