A.P. Indy (foaled March 31, 1989 in Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic on his way to American Horse of the Year honors in 1992. His time in the Belmont Stakes tied Easy Goer for the second fastest running in the history of the race, behind his broodmare sire Secretariat. As of 2016, he is the oldest living winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic.
A.P. Indy subsequently became a "breed-shaping sire", leading the North American sire list twice and establishing a sire line that has produced multiple American Classic winners. Retired from breeding in 2011, A.P Indy resides at Lane's End Farm, where he was born and raised, and stood his entire stud career.
A.P. Indy is part of the only three-generation sequence of Belmont Stakes winners in American racing history. He is by 1977 winner Seattle Slew and is the sire of 2007 winner Rags to Riches.
Bill Farish, son of Lane's End founder William Farish, said, "Words really can't put into perspective what he's meant to us. How many sale toppers are yearlings that end up being that good where they are Horse of the Year and then go on and be two-time champion sire and then have the long term influence that he has had and will continue to have? It's pretty amazing."
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been called "the fantasy of every Thoroughbred industry participant, from sale-topper yearling, to champion runner, to game-changing stallion to sire of sires."
A.P. Indy is a dark bay or brown horse with a narrow white blaze and a white sock on the right hind leg. He was bred in Kentucky by William Farish III and William Kilroy. He was sired by Triple Crown-winner Seattle Slew. His dam Weekend Surprise was a multiple graded stakes winner whose first foal, Summer Squall, won the 1990 Preakness Stakes. Weekend Surprise was from a distinguished female family and her sire was Triple Crown winner Secretariat. Weekend Surprise would be named the 1992 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year.
Combined with an elite pedigree, A.P. Indy was a near perfect physical specimen. He became the top-priced yearling of 1990 at $2.9 million. His new owner was Tomonori Tsurumaki, who named the colt in honor of his recently opened Nippon Autopolis, where Tsurumaki hoped to host a Formula One (Indy Car) event. In July 1992, A.P. Indy's breeders Farish and Kilroy bought back an interest in the colt.
A.P. Indy was born a ridgling, meaning he had one undescended testicle. As this caused him discomfort when he started his racing career, he would normally have been gelded. But because of his potential, surgery was instead performed to remove the undescended testicle. His fertility was not impacted by the condition.
At maturity, he reached 16 hands (64 inches, 163 cm) high. When racing, his low-headed, efficient gait was reminiscent of his broodmare sire, Secretariat. His one weakness was having rather "shelly" feet, meaning he was difficult to shoe. As a stallion, he developed a "dipped topline" (a mostly cosmetic issue not to be confused with a sway-back) that is often found in descendants of Seattle Slew. He has a white-rimmed left eye that can give him a rather wild appearance.
Trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, A.P. Indy won three of four starts in 1991, including the Grade I Hollywood Futurity. On the Experimental Free Handicap, he was co-ranked the third best two-year-old of 1991 at 124 pounds, six pounds below the juvenile champion Arazi and one pound below Bertrando.
He started his three-year-old campaign in 1992 with wins in the San Rafael Stakes and Santa Anita Derby. He was the second favorite on the morning line for the 1992 Kentucky Derby, but had to be scratched on the morning of the race after developing a bone bruise after a routine morning jog. "He galloped very well," Drysdale said. But in early afternoon, he came out of the stall and the trouble was discovered. "He just went like this," Drysdale said, lunging to one side to describe A.P. Indy's lameness.
Drysdale eventually used a fiberglass patch to repair a small, almost invisible crack in A.P. Indy's hoof. A.P Indy missed the Preakness as a result, then prepped for the Belmont in the Peter Pan Stakes. The field was no match for A.P. Indy, who won by 5 1⁄2 lengths.
On June 6, he entered the Belmont Stakes against a field of eleven that included Preakness Stakes winner, Pine Bluff. Having drawn the number 1 post, Drysdale was concerned was getting trapped on the rail so he talked to jockey Eddie Delahoussaye about working toward the outside. Also of concern were heavy rains that fell for most of the day before the race and into the night, making the track condition "muddy" for the first eight races of the undercard. And above all, Drysdale worried about A.P. Indy's hoof. "The patch? I think about it every day. I look at it every day."
The sun finally came out and the track was upgraded to "good" for the Belmont Stakes. As expected, A.P. Indy broke behind the leaders and tracked the pace in fourth for the first mile. Agincourt and Casual Lies set a brisk pace, followed by Pine Bluff. As they rounded the turn, Pine Bluff moved to the lead while A.P. Indy circled wide to close the gap. The two dueled down the stretch with A.P. Indy finally drawing clear in deep stretch. My Memoir then started closing quickly, but A.P. Indy had enough in reserve and prevailed by 3⁄4 lengths, with My Memoir beating Pine Bluff by a neck for second. "I thought I was the winner turning for home," said My Memoirs' jockey, Jerry Bailey. "Eddie had just enough horse and he rated him really well. He deserves a lot of credit. He sat chilly and knew he had enough."
Despite the track being good instead of fast, A.P. Indy raced the mile and a half in 2:26 flat, matching the second-fastest time for the Belmont Stakes set in 1989 by Easy Goer. He was two seconds off the track record set in 1973 by his grandfather Secretariat.
A.P. Indy was given the summer off to allow his hoof to completely heal, then returned on September 13 with a dull performance in the Molson Export Million, finishing fifth. On October 10, he finished third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup after stumbling at the start and tearing off his right front shoe. "There wasn't much foot left," Drysdale recalled later. "Fortunately, acrylic had just been developed, and [farrier] Joey Carroll rebuilt his foot that night." Finishing ahead of him were Pleasant Tap, who was having an outstanding year, and Strike the Gold, the previous year's Kentucky Derby winner.
The Breeders' Cup that year was held on October 31 at Gulfstream Park. There was a full field of fourteen horses for the Classic, twelve of whom had won Group 1 or Grade I races. A.P. Indy and Pleasant Tap were the two betting favorites, going off at 2-1 and 5-2 respectively. A.P. Indy broke well but soon dropped back to eighth off a fast opening pace set by Thunder Rumble. He remained on the rail at the back of the pack until the final turn when he split between horses to find running room. Under a hand ride, he drew clear to win by 2 lengths over Pleasant Tap.
He was voted the Eclipse Awards for American Horse of the Year and Champion three-year-old colt. In his career, he made 11 starts, winning eight and showing once, earning a total of $2,979,815.
In 2000, A.P. Indy was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at the same time as Drysdale, his trainer.
He was retired to stud at Lane's End Farm in 1993 with an initial stud fee of $50,000. Farish explained: “We wanted to keep him in training. He’s very sound and such a brilliant horse, but it would be taking a tremendous risk with a great sire prospect. So many of our top horses have been retired to Europe or Japan that we need a horse like this to stand in the U.S. Everyone involved concluded that this was the right thing to do.”
A.P. Indy went on to become a "breed-shaping" sire. For much of his career, he stood for $300,000. He was the leading sire in North America for 2003 and 2006, and was among the top 10 for 10 consecutive years. He sired 88 graded stakes winners and 12 champions. His 12.5% stakes winners to foals ratio is the best among contemporary American stallions of the "big book era".
A.P. Indy is also an important broodmare sire, leading the North American list in 2015. His daughters have produced Royal Delta, Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty, champion Wait A While and Grade 1 stakes winners Bluegrass Cat and Any Given Saturday.
A.P. Indy is a valuable source of stamina in the normally speed-oriented stallion ranks of North America. This means his progeny are highly prized by those who are looking for racehorses who can compete in top races at classic distances. In 2008, A.P. Indy became the 208th chef-de-race with an Intermediate/Classic designation.
A.P. Indy sired his last foals in 2010, when only 36 of 80 mares he bred conceived. Of these, two would become grade 1 winners: Honor Code and Got Lucky, whose name refers to the multiple tries it took her dam to get in foal. He was retired from stud duty on April 8, 2011, upon failing to produce a confirmed live foal in the 25 mares he covered. A.P. Indy remains at Lane's End Farm in his old stall, with Mineshaft in the stall across the aisle from him and Honor Code in the stall next to him.
Some of his leading progeny include (fillies in italics):Pulpit (1994) - Blue Grass Stakes
Tomisue's Delight (1994) - Ruffian Handicap, Personal Ensign Handicap
Golden Missile (1995) - Pimlico Special
Stephen Got Even (1996) - Donn Handicap
Symboli Indy (1996) - NHK Mile Cup
Secret Status (1997) - Kentucky Oaks
Aptitude (1997) - Jockey Club Gold Cup
Mineshaft (1999) - (Jockey Club Gold Cup), 2003 Horse of the Year and champion older horse
Tempera (1999) - Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, champion 2-year-old filly
Jiljab (1999) - Coaching Club American Oaks
Congrats (2000) - San Pasqual Handicap
Suave (2001) - Multiple graded stakes winner
Friend's Lake (2001) - Florida Derby
Bernardini (2003) - 2006 Preakness Stakes, champion 3-year-old colt
Rags to Riches (2004) (2007 Belmont Stakes), champion 3-year-old filly
Marchfield (2004) - in Canada, champion older horse
Serenading (2004) - in Canada, champion older mare
Eldaafer (2005) - Brooklyn Handicap, Breeders' Cup Marathon
Music Note (2005) - Coaching Club American Oaks, Ballerina Handicap
Eye of the Leopard (2006) - Queen's Plate
Love and Pride (2008) - Personal Ensign Handicap, Zenyatta Stakes
Take Charge Indy (2009) - Florida Derby
Dreaming of Julia (2010) (Frizette Stakes)
Commissioner (2011) - Hawthorne Gold Cup, second in Belmont Stakes
Got Lucky (2011) - Spinster Stakes
Honor Code (2011) - Metropolitan Handicap, Champion Older Horse
A.P. Indy has numerous sons and grandsons who stand (or stood) in North America. Those with notable offspring include:Pulpit (died 2012):
Tapit - Wood Memorial, leading sire in North America for 2014 and 2015
Untapable (Kentucky Oaks, Breeders' Cup Distaff, champion 3-year-old filly)
Tonalist (2014 Belmont Stakes, 2015 Metropolitan Handicap)
Frosted (2016 Metropolitan Handicap)
Creator (2016 Belmont Stakes)
Lucky Pulpit: California Chrome - (2014 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Horse of the Year, 2016 Dubai World Cup)
Bernardini: Alpha, Stay Thirsty, Cavorting, Imperative, Rachel's Valentina
Malibu Moon: Orb (2013 Kentucky Derby), Life at Ten
Mineshaft: Effinex, It's Tricky, Fly Down
Flatter: Flat Out, Taris, Upstart, Carina Mia
Majestic Warrior: Princess of Sylmar
Congrats: Polar River
Stephen Got Even (deceased): Stevie Wonderboy (Breeders' Cup Juvenile, champion 2-year-old colt)
A.P. Indy is inbred 3 x 4 to the stallion Bold Ruler, meaning that the latter appears once in the third generation and once in the fourth generation of his pedigree. A.P. Indy is also inbred 5 X 4 to the stallion Princequillo and 3 X 5 to Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Somethingroyal.