Everyone knew A.P. Indy would be a star before he ever stepped hoof on the racetrack. He had a pedigree that screamed greatness (his sire was Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew and his dam was Weekend Surprise, a daughter of Secretariat) and at maturity he had correct conformation with powerful hindquarters.
Some sports fans believed that A.P. Indy would win the Kentucky Derby in 1992 after he won five straight races, including the Hollywood Futurity (G1) and Santa Anita Derby (G1). The only thing that seemed to stand in A.P. Indy’s way was a talented and highly celebrated colt named Arazi, who had fans lining Churchill’s rail just to see him exercise before the Kentucky Derby. Still, A.P. Indy’s connections were confident that he would win the “Run for the Roses”.
Unfortunately, A.P. Indy never got the chance to run in the Kentucky Derby. He came off of Churchill Downs’ track the morning before the Derby showing signs of lameness. A veterinarian diagnosed a deep bruise and while they worked diligently to ease the colt’s discomfort, they were forced to make the difficult decision of scratching A.P. Indy from the Kentucky Derby.
As it turned out, a longshot horse named Lil E. Tee won the Kentucky Derby while Arazi finished 8th. Meanwhile, A.P. Indy’s injury was taking the time off to recover and his hoof was being reinforced with fiberglass. The injury caused him to miss the Preakness Stakes as well, but he finally returned triumphantly to the races in the Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. It was the colt’s final prep before entering the Belmont Stakes (G1), the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. Breaking from post position 1, A.P. Indy settled in fourth on the rail. Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye began to urge A.P. Indy along as the field began to make their way around the far turn. The colt responded beautifully, easily moving to the outside of horses and getting himself in the perfect position to pounce.
As they straightened up for the stretch, A.P. Indy put his head down and began picking up speed. He passed Preakness Stakes winner Pine Bluff as he approached the wire and held off a fast charge from My Memoirs to win the Belmont Stakes by ¾ of a length. His time of 2:26 was the second-fastest time ever recorded in the Belmont Stakes, just two seconds slower than his maternal grandsire Secretariat.
A.P. Indy would race three more times, losing two races before capturing the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). His earnings of $2,979,815 would just barely eclipse his $2.9 million purchase price, but his legendary status was only just beginning when he left the racetrack.
A.P. Indy became a very influential and breed-shaping stallion during his time at Lane’s End Farm. He sired horses like Pulpit (who would sire Tapit), Mineshaft, Honor Code, Malibu Moon, Bernardini, and countless other incredible racehorses. According to American Classic Pedigrees, he is part of the only three-generation sequence of Belmont Stakes winners: His sire Seattle Slew won the race in 1977, A.P. Indy in 1992, and his daughter Rags to Riches beat the boys in 2007.
While A.P. Indy is no longer with us, the memories of his great races like the Belmont Stakes will live on with us forever.
[Video: Watch A.P. Indy win the 1992 Belmont Stakes]
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