SARATOGA SPRINGS — Two brilliant mares comprise the Class of 2022 to be inducted from the contemporary category into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame on Aug. 5.
Multiple champions Beholder and Tepin were the only finalists of 11 who were picked by at least 50% of voters, and they each make the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
The two contemporary inductees will be joined in their class by six others who were picked separately by the Historic Review Committee and Pillars of the Turf voters.
They include horses Hillsdale and Royal Heroine; trainer Oscar White; administrator James Cox Brady; Marshall Cassidy, who worked in various capacities over the course of 60 years throughout the 20th century; and breeder/owner James Ali Haggin.
The Hall of Fame doesn’t release voting numbers — 148 of 161 voters submitted ballots — but if Beholder wasn’t selected unanimously, it likely was close.
She compiled a record of 18-6-0 from 26 starts for purse earnings of over $6 million and was a four-time Eclipse Award champion, as 2-Year-Old Filly in 2012, 3-Year-Old Filly in 2013 and Older Mare in 2015 and 2016.
She is one of just two horses (Goldikova is the other) to have won three Breeders’ Cup races, and Beholder was the first horse since 1976 to win a Grade I race at the ages of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Beholder ran almost exclusively in California, where Santa Anita hosted the Breeders’ Cup the three times she ran in it over the duration of her career.
Her only races outside California were a second by a half-length to Princess of Sylmar in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs and a fourth-place finish to Close Hatches in the 2014 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park.
Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Beholder concluded her career with the closest of head-bobbing nose victories over Songbird in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
Trained by Mark Casse, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020, and owned by Robert Masterson. Tepin, a highly successful miler on the turf, was perhaps best known for racing against males, which is unusual in North America — and beating them.
She ran against males four times in 23 career starts, winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2015, the 2016 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot in England and the 2016 Woodbine Mile, before wrapping up her career two races later with a second to Tourist in the BC Mile.
“We wanted to try to win the Breeders’ Cup, and to do that, you either had to run her against males or at a mile and an eighth [in the BC Filly & Mare Turf], and we just wanted to run her at a mile,” Casse said.
Tepin raced in New York three times during the 2015 season, winning the Just A Game on the same Belmont Stakes card that American Pharoah completed the Triple Crown.
“Without her wins in the Breeders’ Cup and at Ascot, I might not be in the Hall of Fame,” Casse said.
After the Just A Game, Tepin suffered two close losses at Saratoga Race Course, by a nose Hard Not to Like in the Diana and by a head to Dacita in the Ballston Spa on Travers Day. Casse said the fact that Saratoga only allows turf training a few designated days of the week may have contributed to Tepin’s lack of success at the Spa.
“She showed she could run anywhere, and it didn’t matter the type of turf course, but she got beat twice at Saratoga, and I always kind of felt like she really struggled with her everyday training there, because you have to train on the dirt course,” Casse said. “She would trip and nearly fall every day galloping. You’d grab your heart two or three times. That really bothered her. I just don’t think she really trained as well there, so it was very difficult. We couldn’t get as much work out of her, because we had to be so careful. I think that’s one of the things that got her beat at Saratoga.”
Tepin retired with a record of 13-5-1 from 23 starts for earnings of over $4.4 million.
The nine finalists who were not picked by at least 50% of the voters include horses Blind Luck, Havre de Grace, Rags to Riches and Kona Gold; trainers Christophe Clement, Graham Motion, Doug O’Neill and John Shirreffs; and jockey Corey Nakatani.
The induction ceremony will be held 10:30 a.m. Aug. 5 at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. The event is free and open to the public.