Courtesy of Ren Carothers (@RenCarothers)


It’s #NationalGrandparentsDay. It’s also #FutureStarsFriday. Writing an article which celebrates both is fitting, but what’s the connection? Looking back over the pedigrees of this past weekend’s G1 stakes winners in the juvenile division, the answer could not be clearer. They all have one Hall of Fame, Breeders’ Cup champion in common: A.P. Indy.

The product of Triple Crown hero Seattle Slew and Weekend Surprise, a multiple graded-stakes winning daughter of the immortal Secretariat, A.P. Indy was dealt one of the best genetic hands in the stud book. His older half brother, Summer Squall, won the 1989 Hopeful Stakes, was second to Unbridled in the Kentucky Derby the following year, and won the Preakness. Weekend Surprise’s half sister, Charming Lassie, dropped A.P. Indy’s “cousin”, Lemon Drop Kid, whose wins include the 1998 Futurity, 1999’s Belmont and Travers Stakes, and the Whitney and Woodward of 2000.


In 1990, A.P. Indy, bred by Lane’s End Farm’s William Farish and William Kilroy, sold for $2.9 million to land developer Tomonori Tsurumaki as a yearling. He named the colt after the AutoPolis, a Grand Prix auto-racing track, he opened in Japan. After finishing fourth in his debut at two-years-old, A.P. Indy strung together seven consecutive wins, including the Hollywood Futurity, San Rafael, Santa Anita Derby, Peter Pan, and Belmont Stakes for trainer Neil Drysdale and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye. He won the “Test of the Champion” in 2:26, the co-second fastest time shared with Easy Goer, with the record of 2:24 held by his damsire, Secretariat. Though A.P. Indy would have been favored in the Kentucky Derby, he missed the “Run for the Roses”, as well as the Preakness, due to a foot bruise. Farish and Kilroy bought back into the horse in the summer of 1992.


A.P. Indy had a freshener between his Belmont performance and the Molson Export Million in September, but was flat upon return. The Jockey Club Gold Cup against older was up next, but he stumbled badly out of the gate, ripping off his right shoe. He still managed to get up for third, behind Pleasant Tap and Strike the Gold. A.P. Indy soundly be both, as well as eleven others, closing out his career on a triumphant note in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He retired with eight wins in eleven starts, $2,979,815 in earnings, collected Eclipse champion three-year-old colt and Horse of the Year honors, and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.


A.P. Indy would go on to sire a dynasty, commanding a fee of $300,000 at peak demand, but started stud duties at Lane’s End for a modest $50,000. His first crop included Pulpit, who won the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass Stakes before producing sire sensation Tapit, and his last crop included 2015’s Eclipse champion older horse, Honor Code. A.P. Indy sired 163 stakes winners, twelve of them champions, including Bernardini, Mineshaft, and Rags to Riches. His daughter, Tempera, was named 2001’s champion two-year-old filly after a campaign which included a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and his son, Eldaafer, won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon.

Though pensioned in 2011, A.P. Indy’s influence is still felt as a sire of sires, a broodmare sire, and beyond. Even our thirteenth Triple Crown champion, Justify, is fortified by his presence, with the colt’s second dam being a daughter of A.P. Indy’s son, Pulpit. Which brings us back to the start of this piece. As mentioned, our latest G1 winning juveniles all have him in their pedigrees.


To elaborate:

Saratoga’s G1 Spinaway, a “Win and You’re IN” Challenge Series race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, was won by Sippican Harbor, who crushed rivals by seventeen lengths in her previous start. A $260,000 yearling purchase, she is a daughter of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, who is by Malibu Moon, a son of A.P. Indy.


Across the country, G2 Sorrento winner Bellafina added the G1 Del Mar Debutante to her résumé, scoring by 4-1/4 lengths over Mother Mother. This daughter of Quality Road, another Lane’s End sire, is out of a stakes placed daughter of Malibu Moon, who, again, is by A.P. Indy.


In the G1 Hopeful, Mind Control took control, essentially wiring the field, finishing 3⁄4 of a length in front of even money favorite Mucho. His sire, Stay Thirsty, was second in the 2010 Hopeful, and later captured G1 success in the Travers and Cigar Mile. Stay Thirsty is a son of 2006’s Eclipse Champion three-year-old colt, Bernardini, again, a son of A.P. Indy, whose career was capped with a second place finish to Invasor in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.


Adding the cherry on top of this genetic sundae, Game Winner. The son of Pacific Classic winner Candy Ride is out of Indyan Giving, who was unraced. Her dam, however, is 2006’s Eclipse champion older mare, Fleet Indian, and her sire is... A.P. Indy.

Four stakes, two coasts, two colts, two fillies...the impact of A.P. Indy is resonant. At 29 years young, our oldest living Breeders’ Cup champion still resides in the main stallion barn at Lane’s End, often found standing statuesque, knee deep in golden straw, basked in light beside the window, surveying the realm over which he reigns supreme. Two of his exceptional sons are stabled near, Honor Code beside him, Mineshaft across the aisle. Outside the barn, a literal statue of A.P. Indy stands watch, a silent sentinel, while beyond the gates, his legacy continues to grow in the flesh.


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