Haras du Mezeray's stalwart sire Trempolino, who came within half a length of winning both the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) and the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) in the same season in 1987, died at the age of 34, the farm announced March 19 on its Facebook page.
The son of Sharpen Up—Trephine, by Viceregal, raced as a homebred for Paul de Moussac, who owns Haras du Mezeray and bred the colt in Kentucky under the name Mayland Stud. De Moussac also bred in the United States under the name Marystead Farm.
A group-placed runner at 2, Trempolino made all but one start at 3 in graded/group stakes for trainer Andre Fabre. He placed in three consecutive French group 1 stakes in France through late June, which included seconds in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby, G1) and the Prix Lupin (G1). Victory finally came in the Prix Niel (G2) in his start right before the Arc de Triomphe.
Sensing an opportunity, American businessman and Thoroughbred owner Bruce McNall bought a half-interest in Trempolino the week before the Arc. At the time McNall was a movie executive and owner of the NHL Los Angeles Kings. In the Arc, Trempolino tracked next-to-last throughout much of the 1 1/2-mile race. Three furlongs from the wire jockey Pat Eddery found a seam as the field spread out across the track and rallied Trempolino to beat top European runners Tony Bin, Triptych, and favorite Reference Point. Seven weeks later Trempolino put a scare into Theatrical in the Breeders' Cup Turf by getting his nose in front briefly at the top of the Hollywood Park stretch, but the U.S. champion rallied to win by a half-length.
Trempolino entered stud at Graham Beck's Gainesway near Lexington in 1988 and stood there until he was relocated to De Moussac's farm in the Normandy region of France for the 2000 breeding season. The stallion also stood one season in Brazil in 1998.
As a stallion, Trempolino produced 44 (4%) black-type winners and 52 black-type placers. Among his foals of racing age, 85% started in a race and 66% of those starters became winners.
Trempolino's best U.S. runners were Snow Polina, who won the Beverly D. Stakes (G1T) and Black Helen Stakes (G2T) in 2000; Trampoli, a five-time graded stakes winner in 1993-94; and graded winners Cox Orange, Summer Ensign, and Talloires. Top runners overseas included Dernier Empereur, highweight 3-year-old colt in France; Queen Anne Stakes (G1) winner Valixir; dual group 1 winner Germany; and, multiple group winner Arkadian Hero.
Haras du Mezeray pensioned Trempolino from stud duty in 2012 at the age of 28.