By Nicholas Godfrey
USA: American racing lost one of its foremost equine names on Friday when A.P. Indy, the 1992 Horse of the Year and a hugely significant stallion, died at the age of 31 due to the infirmities of old age.
Trained by Californian-based Englishman Neil Drysdale, the son of Seattle Slew numbered victories in the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic among his eight successes from 11 career starts.
Retired to Lane’s End in Versailles, Kentucky, where he had been foaled, A.P. Indy went on to become the farm’s foundation sire. He was North America’s champion sire twice, in 2003 and 2006, his progeny including the champions Mineshaft, Bernardini and Rags To Riches. He was also noted as a leading broodmare sire.
Elected into the Hall of Fame in 2000, A.P. Indy was pensioned from stud duties in 2011 and lived out the rest of his days at Lane’s End, which issued a statement to release news of his passing.
“A.P. Indy passed away peacefully in his stall at the Lane’s End stallion complex, the barn he called home for 27 years,” it read.
“Champion A.P. Indy’s list of accomplishments range far and wide as his legacy continues to be carried through the outstanding performances of his sons and daughters across the globe.”
Bred by William S. Farish and W.S. Kilroy, A.P. Indy was born a ridgling (with an undescended testicle) before selling as the highest-priced yearling ($2.9 million) of his generation when he was purchased by owner Tomonori Tsurumaki. His breeders bought back a share in July 1992.
Although he was denied his chance to run in the Kentucky Derby owing to an eve-of-race injury, he landed Classic success with victory five weeks later under regular rider Eddie Delahoussaye in the Belmont Stakes, where he recorded the joint second-fastest time in the race’s history behind only the legendary Secretariat. Second place was taken by the Richard Hannon-trained My Memoirs, who was three-quarters of a length away.
After a glittering stud career, he was described as the “franchise maker” by Lane’s End’s Bill Farish. The farm’s statement added: “He was the most important and popular member of the Lane’s End team and we are deeply sorry to all who loved him as much as we did.”