Tepin (KY)

Tepin wasn’t an immediate phenomenon on the racetrack. Sure, she showed some promise as a 2-year-old, but a winless sophomore season relegated the bay filly to afterthought status when she began her 4-year-old campaign in 2015. By the end of that year, however, on the strength of three Grade 1 victories and an Eclipse Award, Tepin was a no-doubt-about-it superstar — and the best was yet to come.








Life Happened




Machmer Hall


Robert E. Masterson


Mark E. Casse





Racing Record



Year Starts First Second Third Earnings
Year Sts 1 2 3 $
2013 4 2 0 1 $342084 $342,084
2014 4 0 1 0 $41369 $41,369
2015 7 5 2 0 $2092520 $2,092,520
2016 8 6 2 0 $1961945 $1,961,945


Tepin wasn’t an immediate phenomenon on the racetrack. Sure, she showed some promise as a 2-year-old, but a winless sophomore season relegated the bay filly to afterthought status when she began her 4-year-old campaign in 2015. By the end of that year, however, on the strength of three Grade 1 victories and an Eclipse Award, Tepin was a no-doubt-about-it superstar — and the best was yet to come.

When she was retired following her 2016 season, Tepin had won 11 graded or group stakes at eight different tracks, beat the boys on three occasions, won in three different countries, and was a multi-year champion who was beloved throughout the sport.

Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Tepin was sired by Bernstein out of the unraced Stravinsky mare Life Happened. Bernstein, a sprinter who won the Railway Stakes and Concorde Stakes when trained by Aidan O’Brien in Ireland, notably sired 2014 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Karakontie. Stravinsky, meanwhile, was also trained by O’Brien and was Europe’s Champion Sprinter in 1999. Before foaling Tepin, Life Happened produced multiple graded stakes winner Vyjack.

As a yearling, Tepin was consigned to the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale, where she was purchased by Robert Masterson for $140,000. Masterson turned the filly over to future Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, whose son, Norman, also played a key role in Tepin’s day-to-day training.

Tepin finished fourth in her career debut in September 2013 on the dirt at Churchill Downs. She broke her maiden next out a month later at seven furlongs by 3¼ lengths over Keeneland’s synthetic surface. Later that October, Tepin returned to Churchill for her first stakes race, finishing third to Clever Beauty in the one-mile Rags to Riches. She closed out her juvenile campaign with her best performance of the year, winning the Grade III Princess Stakes, a $500,000 one-mile event on the dirt at Delta Downs. Fourth choice in the wagering, Tepin defeated a quality field that included Matron Stakes winner Miss Behaviour and Sorrento Stakes winner Concave. Tepin took the lead in the stretch under jockey Miguel Mena and defeated Bahnah by 1¼ lengths. The BloodHorse described Tepin’s first graded stakes victory as a “mild surprise.”

As a 3-year-old in 2014, Tepin didn’t accomplish anything of note. She was unplaced in both the Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in May and the Regret Stakes at Churchill in June. A trip to California in July resulted in Tepin’s best effort of the year. At odds of 18-1, she closed strongly in the stretch to finish second in the Grade II San Clemente at one mile on the turf at Del Mar, 2½ lengths behind Istanford. Tepin, however, was unable to build on the effort, finishing last of eight in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August. That was it for her season, winless in four starts.

Julien Leparoux took over as Tepin’s rider beginning in 2015 and he found immediate success with his new mount. Tepin began her 4-year-old season with an allowance victory at Gulfstream Park and followed with an impressive win in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile. She stepped up again in June to earn her first Grade 1 victory in the Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park. Tepin continued to run well that summer but finished second at Saratoga in both the Grade 1 Diana Stakes and Grade 2 Ballston Spa Handicap. She was a nose short of Hard Not to Like in the Diana and beaten a head by Dacita in the Ballston Spa.

Tepin returned to Keeneland that autumn and won the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes, defeating My Miss Sophia and the talented European trio of Easter and Outstanding from the Irish barn of Aidan O’Brien and English standout Crowley’s Law. Casse was beaming following Tepin’s sevenlength romp.

“She was fired up today; she went a little wild in the paddock and stepped on my toe,” he said. “But I told Julien when I put him up, ‘She’s on her game.’ She was impressive. We’ll probably go to the Breeders’ Cup Mile.”

Indeed, Tepin was entered in the Mile at Keeneland on Halloween. The race had not been won by a North American-based female since Royal Heroine from John Gosden’s California stable won the inaugural edition at Hollywood Park in 1984. On paper, the race looked like the French invaders of Make Believe (the favorite), Esoterique, Impassable, and defending Mile winner Karakontie would be most formidable, while the British entries Mondialiste and Time Test would also figure prominently. At odds of 7-1, Tepin was the lone North American entry at odds of less than 25-1. Tepin broke well then settled into second behind Obviously. She stayed close to the lead throughout and had plenty left when Leparoux put her into high gear in the final furlong. When asked, Tepin quickly drew clear of the field to score a 2½-length victory over Mondialiste. Casse was in awe of the performance.

“To be in the same company with Goldikova, Miesque, and Royal Heroine, beating the boys in the Mile, I’m not sure I have the words,” he said. “Am I dreaming? She just continues to amaze me.”

Tepin was named the Eclipse Award winner for Champion Turf Female in January 2016. A month later, she opened her 5-year-old campaign with consecutive victories in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes and Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Next out, in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland, Tepin cruised to a five-length victory in stakes-record time of 1:40.53 for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

The blistering performance convinced Masterson and Casse to take on some of the best European milers in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in England. Facing a top field that included Amazing Maria, Belardo, Ervedya, Esoterique, and Toormore, Tepin made the front in the final quarter mile and held off a fierce late drive from Belardo to win by half a length. Tepin’s victory was the first in the race by a horse based outside of Europe.

“We didn’t expect to win,” Masterson said. “We took her because we thought it was the right thing to do. She’d done everything she could do in the United States. We actually wanted to show her off in England because they were kind enough to invite us over there.”

Nearly three months later, Tepin showed up in Canada to win her eighth consecutive race, the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, again defeating a field featuring accomplished males. She raced twice more, finishing second in her attempts to repeat in the First Lady at Keeneland and the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. In the latter, she made a late charge but came up half a length short of Tourist, who ran the fastest Breeders’ Cup Mile (1:31.71) in history and just missed the Santa Anita course mark of 1:31.69.

“We ran a good race, but the winner got a dream trip on the inside” Leparoux said. “What else can you say about her? She had an incredible year. We were hoping she would end the year with a win, but it’s been a pleasure to ride her.”

Tepin repeated as the Eclipse Award winner for Champion Female Turf Horse and a 2017 campaign was being planned, but after a mild bout of colic and some dull training efforts, the decision was made to retire the remarkable mare. Tepin’s final record was a magnificent 13-5-1 from 23 starts with earnings of $4,437,918.

“What a joy this mare’s been,” Masterson said. “The only thing she wants in return is a peppermint.”


Eclipse Award Champion Turf Female — 2015
Eclipse Award Champion Turf Female — 2016

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the Mile — 2015


Won the First Lady Stakes — 2015
Won the Just a Game Stakes — 2015
Won the Jenny Wiley Stakes — 2016
Won the Queen Anne Stakes — 2016
Won the Woodbine Mile — 2016

— Won 11 graded/group stakes
— Won at eight different tracks
— Set stakes record of 1:40.53 in 2016 Jenny Wiley

Horse Profile for Tepin | Equibase is Your Official Source for Thoroughbred Racing Information



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