11/01/2017 1:10PM

Songbird, Tepin headline star-studded Fasig-Tipton November catalog

Barbara D. Livingston
Two-time Eclipse Award champion Songbird will be offered at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Inspiring. Proud. Potential.

Those are among the words Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning uses when speaking of this year’s edition of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale, with a catalog sporting three Eclipse Award champions and weanlings from the first crop of a Triple Crown winner.

“We’re proud of the catalog we’ve assembled,” Browning said of the Nov. 6 sale. “We’re proud that so many customers have entrusted us with some top, top-quality Thoroughbreds. It is a really outstanding catalog with depth from top to bottom. There are some stars scattered through the catalog. There’s just a tremendous amount of potential on the breeding side of things with the mares that are in foal and the broodmare prospects and the racing prospects. The potential that resides in that catalog is pretty inspiring. We also think we’ve got the strongest group of foals in the catalog in many, many years as well. We couldn’t be any more excited.”

A total of 201 horses are currently cataloged for Fasig-Tipton November, which accepts supplemental entries through the Breeders’ Cup. The single-session sale begins with weanlings before moving on to older horses.

Highlighting the latter group are Songbird and Tepin, both two-time Eclipse Award champions. Fellow Eclipse honoree Finest City will hit the sale grounds after attempting to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

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In the cases of Songbird and Tepin, both are being offered at sale because their respective owners, Rick Porter and Robert Masterson, focus their operations on racing, neither maintaining a broodmare band. Songbird was retired in September following a career in which she won 13 of 15 starts, including nine Grade 1 events, bankrolled more than $4.6 million, and earned Eclipses as outstanding 2-year-old filly of 2015 and 3-year-old filly of 2016. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is consigned as a broodmare prospect only after a veterinary workup revealed damage to her hind suspensories and a severe bone chip, prompting her retirement. Porter has consigned her via Taylor Made Sales Agency, with whom he sold Horse of the Year Havre de Grace for $10 million at this sale in 2012.

Songbird “was an absolute joy to race, and we expect that she’ll be as wonderful a broodmare as she was a racehorse,” Porter said. “She took us on an incredible and unforgettable journey.”

Tepin was the continent’s outstanding female turf horse of 2015, when her campaign was highlighted by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, and 2016, when she became the first American-based runner to win the Queen Anne Stakes, against males, at the renowned Royal Ascot meeting. Overall, the Bernstein mare put together a record of 23-13-5-1, earning more than $4.4 million.

“I have trained some Breeders’ Cup winners and champions, but there is no doubt this is the best horse I ever trained,” Mark Casse said. “She came with her ‘A’ game at 10 different racetracks, under every possible surface and condition, including wins on turf, dirt, and synthetic. It is a special feeling leading one over knowing they are going to run big. We felt that every time with Tepin.”

Tepin, retired in April, will be sold carrying her first foal, to the cover of classic sire Curlin. She is being consigned by the nascent Elite Sales operation as agent for Masterson.

The trio of Eclipse Award winners lead Grade 1 winners on offer in the catalog including Big World, Birdatthewire, Dacita, Gomo, Illuminant, Miss Temple City, Nickname, Sarah Lynx, and Zipessa. Grade 1-placed American Cleopatra, a full sister to American Pharoah, is offered carrying her first foal, by Uncle Mo.

The weanlings include six from the first crop of American Pharoah, who garnered a star-studded first book. The Pioneerof the Nile horse’s representatives include a filly out of Grade 3 winner Untouched Talent, dam of classic-placed Grade 1 winner and young classic sire Bodemeister – by Pioneerof the Nile’s sire, Empire Maker.

“It’s really exciting,” Browning said. “I think there’s a very, very, very bright future for American Pharoah, and I think there’ll be quite a bit of competition for his offerings.”

American Pharoah led an accomplished group of runners entering stud last year. Others in the group with weanlings chosen for the highly selective Fasig-Tipton catalog include champion Honor Code; Belmont Stakes winners Palace Malice and Tonalist; Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern; Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map; and Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Karakontie.

The just-concluded yearling sale season posted generally positive returns. Browning feels that will help buoy both the upcoming weanling market, as pinhookers search for next year’s sale prospects, and broodmare market, with breeders having capital to re-invest.

“It’ll help,” Browning said. “We saw in the yearling marketplace a really wide distribution of the proceeds this year – it wasn’t like there was one or two isolated sales [that did well]. Generally speaking, it was probably as successful a year as breeders and pinhookers have had in a long time. There’s confidence in the marketplace. I think buyers and sellers right now have confidence, which leads to a healthy marketplace.”

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