Sometimes people forget just how good the 1992 Belmont winner A.P. Indy really was.
He was the most expensive yearling in 1990, priced at $2.9 million, and no wonder, his father was the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, and his mother Weekend Surprise was sired by another Triple Crown winner, the great Secretariat.
The original plan was to run in the 1992 Kentucky Derby, but he was scratched the morning of the Derby due to a quarter crack.
He came into the 1992 Belmont off six consecutive wins, including the Santa Anita Derby and a 5 ½ length win in the Peter Pan Stakes, and entered as the even money favorite. The Belmont field included Derby runner up Casual Lies and Preakness winner Pine Bluff. Casual Lies dictated the early pace and ticked off a strong opening quarter of 23 and 1. A.P. Indy saved ground down at the rail just a length or two off the leader, and to his outside the Preakness winner Pine Bluff. Down the backstretch, he was eased off the leaders and fell back a bit, then made a four wide run approaching the turn into the stretch.
As they turned into the stretch, Pine Bluff wrested the lead away from Casual Lies and took a short lead over A.P. Indy who loomed dangerous. A.P. Indy overtook Pine Bluff in deep stretch and held off a run from British invader My Memoirs, who got second. It was 13 lengths back to the fourth place finisher.
In winning, he tied for the second fastest time ever run in the Belmont, tying Easy Goer’s 1989 mark of 2:26 flat.
A.P. Indy would hit a couple of bumps in the road and in his next race, the Molson Million at Woodbine, he went off as the heavy 3-5 favorite but gave way in the stretch. His next race was the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup – in this race, he bobbled at the start and was pinched back, falling some 15 lengths behind the leaders at one point, but he still made a gallant run at the end and finished third. On the strength of this run despite the early trouble, he was made the 2-1 favorite in what was to be the final start of his career, the Breeder’s Cup Classic.
He would face 13 other runners, including Pleasant Tap who had beaten him in the afore-mentioned Jockey Club Gold Cup and the 1991 Kentucky Derby winner, Strike the Gold. He broke on top of the field actually though not really committed to the lead. Eddie Delahoussaye then tucked him down toward the rail and was sixth as they rounded the first turn. The pace was sizzling going the 6 furlongs in 1:10 flat. As they rounded the far turn, began to find his best stride as he swung off the rail, and with only three sixteenths of a mile left to go, he was only 2 lengths off the leader, and by the eighth pole, he was leading the field, and only had Pleasant Tap to hold off. A.P. Indy was too strong and coasted to the wire under a hand ride to win the Classic in an exceptional time of 2:00.20.
Unfortunately, he was retired after the Classic and we never got to see him race as a four year old, the age when most horses enter their prime, but judging from the achievements of his progeny, the sky was the limit on his potential. He went on to sire great horses such as 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, 2006 Preakness winner Bernardini, and 2007 Belmont winner, the filly Rags to Riches.
He retired with 8 wins from 11 starts and $2.9 million in career earnings.