Great from the Get-Go - By Lenny Shulman

 

 (Originally published in the April 16, 2011 issue of The Blood-Horse magazine. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions at the bottom of the column.

By Lenny Shulman

In the middle of the stallion complex at the Farish family’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., looking over the walking paths where the studs are shown, a statue of A.P. Indy presides over the bustle of one of North America’s premier stallion operations. That the statue was erected long before the end of his stallion career, which was announced April 8, says all you need to know about A.P. Indy’s prominence at Lane’s End and to the Thoroughbred breed.

About the monument’s early installment, Bill Farish stated, “I think it was already clear what he was and what he was going to be. His place was already solidified.”

If ever a horse was bred to be a champion, it was A.P. Indy, sired by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and out of Weekend Surprise, a multiple graded stakes-winning daughter of Triple Crown winner and icon Secretariat. But as Will Farish, A.P. Indy’s co-breeder, noted, “No patterns in Thoroughbred breeding turn out as expected all the time.”

A.P. Indy, however, turned out exactly as planned. Will Farish wanted to breed Weekend Surprise, a feminine-type mare, to a stronger-bodied horse, and Slew fit that bill. The resulting bay foal with the white blaze that poured crookedly off the left side of his nose was, in Farish’s words, “one of the best-looking horses we’ve ever raised, right from the beginning. And he never changed.”

Apparently not. The $2.9 million he brought at Keeneland July represented the highest price paid for a yearling in 1990. Bill Harrigan, farm manager at Fares Farm, where the youngster received his early training, called him “a man among boys. Physically, he was very gifted, and very confident and intelligent. He had a presence and a dominance about him.”

The racing career was short but sweet. Two seasons, 11 starts, eight victories, including four grade Is and a pair of grade IIs. A grade I winner both years, Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic (both gr. I) winner, and Horse of the Year.

“He’s what you do it for,” noted Bill Farish. “To accomplish all he did—leading yearling, Horse of the Year, champion sire twice, a great broodmare sire, and one of the best sires in a long time; I don’t know that you can even set out to aim that high.”

To have one like him come off your farm, make his mark at the races, and then come back to the farm to further the breed represents a seminal achievement for a breeding operation.

“What has he meant to us? You can do a lot of things well in our business,” said Bill Farish, “but to be looked upon as achieving greatness, you have to produce something like A.P. Indy. Kingmambo came along at about the same time and was almost a European version of him. Certainly the two of them put us in a place we hoped but didn’t know we could achieve.”

Inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 2000, A.P. Indy just about singlehandedly kept the Seattle Slew sire line going, and through him it has now branched out to nearly every important farm that stands stallions. His champion son Bernardini, whose first crop of 2-year-olds excelled last year, seems poised to take the mantle and run with it. Champion Mineshaft continues his sire’s work at Lane’s End. Congrats caught fire in Florida and is now standing at Vinery Kentucky. There are Malibu Moon, Pulpit, Flatter, Stephen Got Even, Aptitude, and a host of others.

And then there are his fillies. Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches; Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Tempera; Telling; Serenading; Passing Shot; Tomisue’s Delight; Secret Status; Flashing; Runup the Colors; Music Note; Catch the Thrill; and many, many more.
At the time of his pensioning, A.P. Indy was the leading active U.S. sire by AEI, stakes winners, grade/group winners, grade I winners, and yearling sales average.

He also changed the life of a lapsed racing fan, rekindling a flame that had long since flickered out, with his charisma and the way he ran with his head low to the ground, as if thinking about something else while daring anyone to pass him. He didn’t need to beat ’em by a lot, but he did need to beat ’em. And by whatever bolt of lightning struck me about him, I needed to watch him do it. And needed to pay attention again to this great game of horse racing.

It is a sad day when the curtain falls on a career as brilliant as his. But gratitude being a more apt emotion than sadness, we can all—everyone he’s touched—give thanks for A.P. Indy.

87 Comments

Leave a Comment:

ASL

Kudos to Bill Farish and his team at Lane's End for perfectly managing A.P. Indy's career.  No doubt they are saddened by the chapter closing on Indy's stallion career, but such a legacy will live on for decades to come.  

12 Apr 2011 10:55 AM
Kristen

Indy is truly the horse that keeps on giving.  Can't wait to see Rags' filly at the track and am pulling for Dialed In in the Derby.

12 Apr 2011 12:15 PM
Carlos in Cali

I was bummed-out when they announced AP Indy was being pensioned,heard you mention it Mr.Shulman,on the Roger Stein radio program.

Personally,I've been a racing fan since I can remember my dad placing me on his lap and watching the races on Wide World of Sports.In 77' I was 6yo's when my late dad told me about Secreteriat,the story of Canonero II and how this undefeated $17k yearling purchase by the name of Seattle Slew would win the Ky Derby in a few months.I was hooked! That was my introduction to horse racing and I haven't regretted it one bit.The ill-fated Landaluce & Swale got my juices going,then Slew O'Gold & Capote come along and become Champions. When AP Indy scratches as the ML favorite for the Derby I'm crushed,I think he would've took the TC that year,..but he comes back and becomes Champion 3yo/HOY.Too bad he hasn't sired a Derby winner yet.

Do you know if any of the mares bred to him this year are in-foal?  

There's only a handfull of Thoroughbreds who have been Champions on the track and leading Sires... 2 of them are Seattle Slew and AP Indy.Enough said!

Thank you for the trip down memory lane.AP Indy is one of a kind for sure!

12 Apr 2011 2:00 PM
Betsy

Thank you for such a wonderful article, Lenny. I adored Indy - he was everything you could want in a horse, but then so was his sire. His sire kept the Bold Ruler line going and now Indy has done the same. He has been a pretty good broodmare sire, but oddly, his best broodmares were his least accomplished race fillies.

He's earned his retirement and I hope he lives as long a life as his sire -and is spoiled rotten, lol.

12 Apr 2011 2:14 PM
Terry

I have always wondered: where did his odd name come from?

12 Apr 2011 2:19 PM
Pamela Kafton

Being an ardent fan of Seattle Slew and his progeny, when Slew died, I passed the mantle to A.P. Indy and his progeny.  He, just like Slew, is one of the top racehorse/sires of all time!!  I was hoping that Zenyatta was going to be bred to him first but at least her connections knew that Bernardini, his great son, was going to carry on Indy's genes as well.

I was very sad to read about A.P. Indy being pensioned at the age of 22 as Slew was a stallion, almost literally, until the day he died at the age of 25!!

Thank you A.P. Indy for everything and for carrying on Slew's legacy and making him so proud!!  Believe me, he is smiling down on you now--and always!!

12 Apr 2011 2:21 PM
Soldier Course

Thanks, Lenny, for this beautiful tribute to the extraordinary A. P. Indy.

12 Apr 2011 2:28 PM
Debbie in NJ

WOW  Great article! Thanks for all the info.

12 Apr 2011 2:30 PM
Ron Crookham

I visted a very forlorn looking A.P. Indy the day they announced he was pensioned. He knows no more visits with the ladies. I hope they find something to occupy his time and keep him busy.

12 Apr 2011 2:33 PM
Will

Thank you, Mr. Shulman for a moving account of a stallion like no other.  I have watched some of his races this week just to appreciate him all the more.  A tribute to two Triple Crown winners, a horse like no other. I would love to visit him, and hope Lane's End will grant him visitors  now that he is "less busy".  Thank you, A.P. Indy.

12 Apr 2011 2:34 PM
Serena

Thanks Lenny! Very nice tribute and it good to read such positive stuff about a horse that seemed to do everything right including being surrounded by a group of classy people who bred, raised, trained & campaigned him.   Loved him from the start and, indeed, he is a dream come true.  I also like your comment about how he ran with his head down.  The late, great equine artist Richard Stone Reeves portrayed A.P. Indy beautifully and in his accompanying text described that the low-head running style was like he was "looking for loose change on the race track"   The breeding world may not see one like him for quite some time but he certainly has left quite a progeny to continue the dream.

12 Apr 2011 2:34 PM
pete

One of my favorites & truly one of THE GREATEST !

12 Apr 2011 2:39 PM
Giddyup

2 seasons was much too short of career for a thoroughbred with such talent and charisma.

12 Apr 2011 2:52 PM
nmh

i too would like to know how

A.P.INDY came by his name....

12 Apr 2011 2:52 PM
Robert

Carlos in Cali....none of the 25 mares breed to him this year are in foal :(.

I remember A.P.Indy selling for his $2.9 million.  I still have the Blood Horse edition with him on the cover when he was a Yearling.  I also remember then loosing track of him until October of 1991.  I was watching racing on ESPN and they remarked that the dark bay colt was the sale topper from the previous year.  Then they said his name....A.P. Indy.  The "A.P" standing for Auto Polis and the Indy is Indianapolis where the 500 is.  I thought to myself.....WHO NAMES A COLT BRED LIKE THIS "A.P.Indy"???  What kind of name is that???  After I saw him run against Dance FLoor later in the year, I could not wait for the next Spring and the Classics.  This horse absolutely LOVED to race and distance was no problem.  I have read studies that he does possess the Princequillo heart size.  I hope his daughters pass it on and his sons pass it onto their daughters.  I have only gotten to see A.P.Indy 1 time at Lanes End over the years.  Now that he is retired from breeding, I only hope they keep him in the stall in the main stallion barn.  He has EARNED it !!!

12 Apr 2011 2:57 PM
artlagaz

AP Indy will be missed. As wo where he got his name , I seem to recall his Japanese owner was a big fan of the Indy 500. What would be a more fitting tribute to this great race horse and sire of sire than to see his son and grandsons win and place in the Kentucky Derby, i.e; Astrology, Dialed In, Stay Thirsty, Nehro, and Arthur's Tale. That he has 5 possible KD starters speak volumes of his great legacy in the annals of throughbred racing.Hopefully, someday his descendants can elevate the Bold Ruler sireline   close to if not surpass the level achieved by the Raise A Native line in the history of the Kentucky Derby

12 Apr 2011 3:07 PM
Race2Win

Great Tribute to The King !! AP Indy is the perfect combination of Seattle Slew & Secretariat!! I wish Zenyatta, The Queen could have been bred to him. Talk about Royalty :)

12 Apr 2011 3:09 PM
BigRedForever

Lenny,

In our sport, acknowledging Greatness is occasionally done without thoughtful consideration. In the case of AP Indy, you are right on target. He deserves credit as a 2YO, a 3YO, a Stallion, the torch bearer of Lanes End, a contributor of some foundation qualities recently bred out of the bloodlines and so much more.  Some will say his presence is too far reaching 2 generations into the down line of offspring. Only time will tell, but the colts of the 60's, 70's and early 80's often saw numerous crosses. Thanks for a good read.

12 Apr 2011 3:15 PM
DanC

Interesting that his FULL brother and sister both failed to become successful racehorses too; you need both genetics and luck, and AP Indy pretty much had both.

12 Apr 2011 3:15 PM
ChicagoFan

I have been watching thoroughbred racing from the days of Swaps and Nashua but -- Seattle Slew was the love of my life. He passed his greatness both as a racehorse and and as a sire to this horse, his son, A.P. Indy.  I had the great privilege to meet him and even pet him in 2004 when I and some friends visited Lanes End and I saw him in his stall -- to me, he was as sweet as a big puppy dog.

I actually cried when I read that he was being pensioned. I, too, had hoped that he could hang on as a sire as long as Slew. Slew was 28 when he passed away. We went to his Memorial in 2002.

I love Indy as much as I did Slew and I only hope that he continues to live a long and healthy life and that one of his sons or grandsons sire many stakes winners and, perhaps, even a Triple Crown winner.  We love you Indy!

12 Apr 2011 3:29 PM
Stephanie Q

Great read on the Great AP Indy

12 Apr 2011 4:17 PM
MRO

I love him, love him, love him! And let's please not talk about him as if he were dead....although I too am devestated there will not be any more of those beautiful children. Hopefully, he'll have many more long years of happiness at Lane's End. Besides, he still has 2 more years (maybe 3 in Astrology makes the race) to sire a Derby winner. Then his legacy will be truly complete.

12 Apr 2011 4:19 PM
Will in Virginia

I'll try to help on the name question:

the A. P. stands for Allen Paulsen, under whose colors Indy raced. You've seen them on many great horses, including the one and only Cigar. Red White and Blue, with the stylized "AP" on the back.

the Indy part I kind of have to guess at, for I don't recall conclusively. I believe it had to do with either the INDY 500 or a Navigational point of call used by airmen. Paulsen came by his wealth by developing airplanes - Gulfstream, I believe - and he would name his horses after these navigation points around the world. Cigar was one such point.

Having said all that, I, too, would like to thank you, Mr. Shulman, for a most fitting send-off to AP INDY, as he moves on to a life of leisure (and celibacy! :/)

12 Apr 2011 4:34 PM
nina

He has given us enough. Happy well deserved retirement to a great champion!!!

12 Apr 2011 4:43 PM
SG

I purchased one of his halters at an Old Friends fund raiser.  I will never let it go.

12 Apr 2011 4:52 PM
alphaecho

I've been a racefan since the late '60s. The most determined champion with the biggest heart was Affirmed. However, the only time I made a trip back for the Derby was to see A. P. Indy win, and to my disappointment he scratched the day of the race. He probably was the best all around horse from the start of his career racing to the end of his career as a stallion. I too wish he could have had one last fling with the most amazing, dazzling ZENYATTA.  

12 Apr 2011 5:24 PM
JOHANNA

I got to see AP Indy last year.  He was so beautiful.  It was a dream come true.  I even got to touch him.  what a day that was.  I will never forget it

12 Apr 2011 5:40 PM
Betsy

Indy got his name because his Japanese owner owned racetracks in Japan: Auto Polis something or other (so, the AP). We owe him a lot for not keeping him in Japan.

I've heard Indy is a sweetheart and loves peppermints - anyone every visit him?

12 Apr 2011 5:45 PM
Betsy

Penny Chenery said after the Belmont that Indy ran like his grandsire, Secretariat, with his head low to the ground. Eddie Delahoussaye used to say that he thought he was going to fall off, lol

12 Apr 2011 5:47 PM
greg sally

one of the greatest horses known to man. i love him.

12 Apr 2011 6:32 PM
greg sally

what a great horse. one of my all time favorites.

12 Apr 2011 6:33 PM
txhorsefan

Thank you, Lenny, for writing such a beautiful tribute on the retirement from breeding of A. P. Indy.  I wasn't paying attention to racing when he was running so it is wonderful for me to learn from one who cares about his accomplishments on the track.  His accomplishments as a stallion will go on for a long while.  Thank you!

12 Apr 2011 7:21 PM
early speed

Do you know if any of the mares bred to him this year are in-foal?

Carlos in call, None of the mares bred to A.P. settled for this season. Sooner or later, this happens to a lot of heavily-used stallions. A.P. Indy is a ridgling, but when he was in his prime as a stallion, he packed more dynamite into half a set of family jewels than most stallions if they had an extra set. Also, now we know why Zenyatta wasn't bred directly to A.P. Indy.

12 Apr 2011 7:26 PM
Karen Mitchell

Dear Lenny,

I really enjoyed your wonderful article about the great A.P. Indy and his spectacular success as a racehorse and as a sire.  Would just like to point out that he had an incredibly gifted trainer in Neil Drysdale, who shuns publicity and doesn't always get the recognition and praise he deserves.  They were a great combination.

12 Apr 2011 8:23 PM
Donna

I missed my friend's wedding so I could watch him win the Belmont on televison!  He has always been one of my favorite horses.

12 Apr 2011 8:30 PM
$bill

re. to will in virginia............

a.p. indy was breed by the owner of lanes end farm will farish & he was owned by japanese businessman

tomonori tsurumaki whose colors were red,blue stripe,&yellow sleeves&i believe eddie d. was the only jock that ever rode him. the name i believe is in reference to the formula one car race....

12 Apr 2011 8:38 PM
LauraJ

@Robert, they have said he will continue to occupy the same stall that he's been in for almost 20 years. I totally agree, he has earned that, and much more. Here's hoping for along and happy retirement.

12 Apr 2011 8:55 PM
Lakeway

Definitely one of my all time favorites, and was able to see him many years ago. I thought this might be coming as noticed last year that a number of mares that went to him, later went to another stallion.

As someone else mentioned, as he's a ridgling, maybe this possibly shortened his career.

I have a thread on TBC, in the breeding section, where we're keeping track of his foals born this year. Haven't checked today, but I think we're at 13 or so.

Hope he has a very long retirement.

12 Apr 2011 9:00 PM
Lee

Wonderful article on one of the all time greats. I cried.

Sorry to have read that none of the mares bred to him this year are in foal. I was hoping for Zenyatta to go to A.P. but I assume the Mosses were clued in that his fertility was suspect.

Will, Allen Paulson did not own A.P. Indy and he was not named for him.

12 Apr 2011 9:14 PM
Robin from Maryland

A deserved rest.  No doubt AP Indy will be missed both by his fans and, in the breeding shed. He is one of the icons that future generations will be measured by.  AP Indy you will never be forgotten.

12 Apr 2011 9:17 PM
Carlos in Cali

@Robert & early speed,

Thanks for the info.Too bad.

I thought I heard someone mention he has about 40 2yo's on the grounds this year,can anyone confirm this?...

12 Apr 2011 9:37 PM
mike rullo

Thanks lenny,

This is my favorite horse,I cant put into words how much this horse means to me.

I have no doubt that he would have won the triple crown In 1992.

Alot of people know how great of a stallion he is, But they forget how great of a racehorse he was.

12 Apr 2011 9:42 PM
ChristieP

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting A.P. Indy in July 1993. I am a huge Seattle Slew fan, and to see Slew's greatest son in person was truly amazing! Indy was one of my favorite stallions, and I had hoped that Zenyatta would go to him. Alas, I now see why they sent her to Bernardini instead.

12 Apr 2011 9:42 PM
Karen in Indiana

Wonderful article, Lenny. Thanks!

12 Apr 2011 10:13 PM
moodygirl

Lenny, has anyone ever tabulated how much this sire earned, racing of course but the STUD FEES included?

12 Apr 2011 11:04 PM
B Weaver

WOW!!! What a sire he was and fortunately his bloodlines will continue through his many offspring!! Thank heavens he was as productive as he was through his breeding years!! We will enjoy his bloodlines hopefully for decades to come!!

12 Apr 2011 11:50 PM
Karen in Texas

A well written tribute to a special stallion! I was concerned that his retirement announcement would be downplayed due to the chaotic excitement of the Triple Crown preps, but your article does justice to the legacy of A.P. Indy, Mr. Shulman. Thanks!

13 Apr 2011 12:46 AM
shawnbo77

I agree with Pamela, I am a complete Seattle Slew fan and I was so happy that this outstanding horse stepped up to fill Slew's shoes. My one wish now is that an offspring of A.P.Indy wins the Kentucky Derby so that he can have his Triple Crown. Astrology?

13 Apr 2011 2:54 AM
ChicagoFan

I am back with one more comment. Although Indy does not as yet have a direct sire line Kentucky Derby winner, he had one last year as the great broodmare sire he will most undoubtedly turn out to be --Super Saver, as you know, is by his daughter, Supercharger -- so Indy's bloodlines live on in this stallion, as well.

13 Apr 2011 7:41 AM
slewforever

Pamela, I couldn't have said it better..ditto!

And Lenny, thanks for a great article truly befitting a great horse.

13 Apr 2011 7:52 AM
Dawn in MN

Shulman does have a heart!  Loved this story Mr. Shulman.  thanks

13 Apr 2011 9:34 AM
BillRink

Hi Lenny,  Thanks for a great tribute to A.P.Indy, he certainly has to be recognized as one of the great sires of the U.S.A. . I really, (I mean Really) like Tapit and think he is going to be one of the all time greats as well. Long live the Nasrullah sire line.

13 Apr 2011 9:37 AM
Ofelia

I never saw AP INDY. Lanes End dose not do tours and unfortunately, they never changed the rule. I hope they are a little more fan friendly with Zenyatta.

13 Apr 2011 10:19 AM
Jon

Ah yes, AP Indy!  What a treat it was to see him on the track at Santa Anita and then at Lane's End during that phase of his career.  I used to stop at Three Chimney's to see my all-time favorite horse, the great and incomparable Seattle Slew, and then drive on down the road to see his son.  I was always struck by how alike their bodies were as mature stallions.  AP Indy looked nothing like his half brother, Summer Squall, who was a bit delicate looking; and who also was at Lane's End.  Indy was Slew through and through, very powerful looking.  Slew was brilliant from the beginning of his career on the track to the end of it in the breeding shed...the most complete horse of all time...and so was Indy from beginning to end.  Thanks to Slew, the Bold Ruler line continues through his sons.  Many thought that line would continue through Secretariat, but that didn't happen.  Thanks, Mr Shulman.  I do have one small quibble, however:  Why, in your tribute, is Indy a son of a Triple Crown winner but, through his dam, a grandson of a Triple Crown icon?  Slew is every bit as iconic as Secretariat, if not more so.  

13 Apr 2011 10:26 AM
NancyP

Hi Lenny,

Thank you for the wonderful tribute to A.P. Indy.  It is easy to understand why he is your favorite.  I didn't know very much about his racing career, so thanks for filling in the gaps for me.  I have always followed his progeny, because they carry Secretariat's blood line through Weekend Surprise.  I think the combined genes of Seattle Slew and Secretariat have produced some of the most talented colts and fillies ever.  Hopefully the next time Zenyatta and Bernardini meet the pregnancy will take and a healthy, beautiful talented foal will be the result and carry those great bloodlines well into the 21st C. This is not the end of A.P. Indy - may his retirement take into a long healthy retirement where his many fans can visit him and liven up his days with goodies and love.

Thanks for your many fine articles and the great and ever entertaining ATO show with Steve Haskins Stable Boy.

13 Apr 2011 10:29 AM
heidi

sad to see him pensioned at a fairly youngish age

but i also think extreme overweight is part of the issue with him lanes end does a good job with their horses but they do tend to let them pack on the weight

13 Apr 2011 10:48 AM
Kevin

Nice article. A.P. Indy I hope you have a long and happy retirement. I have no doubt you will be spoiled rotten and so it should be !

13 Apr 2011 11:21 AM
trackjack

Lenny,

Great article as usual.  Thanks!

I recall watching A.P Indy progress as a racehorse.  A fierce runner as you pointed out.  I agree with Penny Chenery that his low head running style came from his Secretariat genes.

"Breed the best to the best and hope for the best."  It worked out for A.P. Indy.  Thanks to Lane's End and thanks to A.P. Indy for your greatness.  

13 Apr 2011 11:26 AM
Jan Pruet

I visited Indy many years ago at Lanes End.  The girls called him "Chubs" as he ate so much they had to watch his weight.  He was abslutely gorgeous. Thanks so much for the informative article.  I did not know he was a ridgling.  I believe Summer Squall is.

13 Apr 2011 1:08 PM
Deacon

Like so many others before him A.P. Indy played a definitive part of American racing lore. The great Man O War, Native Dancer, Bold Ruler, Nothern Dancer, Ribot, Seattle Slew, Storm Cat, all legendary sires who molded the great American thoroughbred and brought us so many memories and joy. Who can ever forget them. We all have our favorites and we will all be watching to see who the next great sire will be. But for now, a standing ovation for a truly marvelous horse, A. P. Indy......kudos Mr. Shulman, you really do have a heart.......

13 Apr 2011 1:35 PM
Don in Massachusetts

Thanks for the great tribute to A.P. Indy, Lenny.  It was well-written and very informative.

Much gratitude to Bill Farish,and Lane's End for the wonderful job they have done in taking care of this horse.

I had the pleasure of meeting A. P. Indy last November and spending quite a bit of time with him. I was in awe of him!  I have some great photos and memories of my visit.

I am praying that this Champion has a long, healthy, and happy retirement!  He is Special for sure!!

Thanks Lenny; and Thanks, A. P. Indy.

13 Apr 2011 1:47 PM
sidekickflats

Heidi,

i saw Indy in November around Breeder's Cup time and he looked great.  His weight looked correct but it was interesting to see he was wearing glue on shoes.

Age and having only one testicle to work with are probably bigger reasons for the fertility issues.

13 Apr 2011 1:58 PM
sidekickflats

Ofelia,

Lane's End does hold open houses on occasion. You could go to one of those and see Indy and the rest of the stallions.  Not sure how often they do that. They had one around Breeder's Cup time. Bummer was that Quality Road hadn't arrived by then.  You could call and ask the farm when the next might be.

13 Apr 2011 2:05 PM
kaytee

enjoy your retirement, A.P  Long live the king!

13 Apr 2011 2:36 PM
lenny

I believe his name came from an amusement park in Japan favored by his owner. A.P. was definitely a big boy during his second career, and was briefly ridden in his paddock in an attempt to keep his weight down, but that was soon abandoned as overly-risky. To see A.P. Indy and Slew in person is/was to immediately recognize you were in the presence of greatness. Perhaps after breeding season those who want to see him can contact Lane's End. They were very accommodating to me back in the '90s when I requested to visit as a fan.

13 Apr 2011 3:24 PM
joe c.

I saw Slew O' Gold, Swale and Vindication race, but sadly not A.P.  Here's to a great, long retirement.  And you're right Jon-Seattle Slew is an icon to many of us!  And let's not forget A.P.'s half brother, Summer Squall, who showed in the Preakness how to get the job done!  Well done Weekend Surprise.  

13 Apr 2011 3:44 PM
LauraJ

@Ofelia, Lane's End does host tours by appointment, but not during breeding season (Feb-June). Here is the information:

www.lanesend.com/visitors.html

You will see the stallion facilities, although IIRC some of the stallions shuttle and may be gone during the August-October timeframe.

13 Apr 2011 3:57 PM
Rodney

He will be missed in the breeding shed just lke he is missed on the track. One of the most important sires of all time and one of the greatest racehorses of all time. May he live the rest of his days in the luxury and comfort deserving of a champion.

13 Apr 2011 5:13 PM
Tamara E

I am deeply saddened at the news of A. P. Indy's stallion career ending. I anxiously await his new two year olds each year. He has really turned in to a sire of sires. I will always cherish seeing him and his father.

13 Apr 2011 7:48 PM
Carol Christine

Lenny,

Great tribute to A.P. Indy! Wonderfully written! I remember before the Breeders Cup Classic and one of the T.V. commentators who was also a trainer said that it would be unlikely that 3 year olds including A. P. Indy would beat the older horses. And then as they turned for home he made his move, with his head low and gracefully and powerfully beat them all. I also would agree with Karen's comment that credit needs to given to his wonderful trainer, Neil Drysdale, who patiently and carefully managed his 3 year old campaign.  Happy retirement to A. P. Indy. Thanks for all the joy and excitement!

13 Apr 2011 7:48 PM
John T

People have asked what A.P Indy

means and some have responded.But for me it means''Always Prominent

Indy Races'' Which he was,a great joy to watch as a racehorse and went on to be a good sire.May he enjoy his retirement.

13 Apr 2011 10:42 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Lenny, what a beautiful and poignant article about "your" A.P. Indy.  I am reading it with tears in my eyes.  I knew an article from you was coming the second I read about him being pensionned.  A.P. Indy succeeded in racing as well as in breeding.  He has made his remarkable contribution to the breed.  The main thing is that he is still sound and living, so many have gone before their time, that is the one thing for us to be thankful for.  And when we peruse the pedigrees so ferociously as we do and we see that old familiar A.P. Indy in there, we can rest assured that he is still walking amongst us, even if he has lost the virility.  At least he is here, unlike Danzig, Secretariat, Hennessy, etc.  I hope Lane's End takes care of him well in his later years and I'm glad that statue of him is there where it belongs.  I hope they find some interesting things for him to do, A.P. would probably love a visit soon from his #1 fan, Lenny.  Animals walk the earth with us for such short times, canines 10-15 yrs. if they are lucky, and equines 20-25 yrs. if they are lucky.  In a way they are all gifts from God, and A.P. Indy is a special gift, he has forever left his stamp on thoroughbred history.

13 Apr 2011 10:48 PM
Diana_NV

A great son of Slew!  Was hoping he would be the choice for Zenyatta, but apparently the flame went out and the torch was passed to his princely son.  I love A.P. Indy, too.  What a great classic race horse and a great sire to keep the Slew line going.  His contribution to the industry is unforgettable.

13 Apr 2011 11:24 PM
Shelby's Best Pal

Thank you, Lenny, for writing about A.P. Indy.  Excellent job!  I remember 1992 and '93 quite well. A.P. Indy with Eddie D. aboard was a thrill.Loved his Breeders' Cup Classic win. Another colt from that crop of '89 that I also followed and still admire was Bertrando.  My interest in racing revved up after following their racing careers.  

14 Apr 2011 12:02 AM
Sunny Farm

I was sad to hear the news that A.P.INDY has been pensioned but was consoled by the beautiful photo slide show by Blood Horse the same day. THANK-YOU !

He has been a great stallion, an awesome stallion, and I hope he enjoys his retirement.

(Hold on...he is sending me an e.s.p. via astrophysics )

OKAY....

HE SAID :

"A retired /aged sire would like his own little herd to call his family & keep his sense of importance. I think it would be nice if I had my own barn & paddocks built with two old companion horses near me."

("An old barren mare-black-bay preferred  and an old gelding, solid color, no greys" )

"In this way ,I; A.P.INDY would have my own herd to watch over and they will also watch over me." "The old mare will order me around over the fence and be next to me in her own stall & I will be delighted."

(The gelding & I can talk about women and give each other the long suffering looks )

"The new barn should have windows looking out at the activities going on at the farm & I -A.P.INDY- could start by going over to visit my new stall and companions untill I was ready to move in for good" (& he would let you know when he was ready to move from his esteemed position in the stallion barn.)

Oh, and A.P. INDY said he'd like a Schneiders stable rug, navy blue with the wither relief & "To get one for his woman & gelding " That :

" He can afford it"...and he wants his own Chamomile & dandelion garden ..near his new stable "

I would like to see this great stallion view the world as just starting out -instead of- just ending up. He deserves to have his own family -something that belongs to him and to him alone & MOST important of all is that he has equine FRIENDS as well as all his "servants " and his pride remains AS the great sire he has always been.

14 Apr 2011 12:29 AM
Al Bowe

Lenny,

A super tribute to super horse. I saw him a few years back and even as an old man he was all class. He looked us straight in the face with the most intelligent eye I have ever seen in a horse. He is the most significant breed shaper in recent times and is a potent sire of sires and a leading broodmare sire.  We loved A.P. Indy so much that we recently purchased one of his sons, A.P. Magic who is out of the superb race mare Magicalmysterycat by Storm Cat. A.P. Magic stood his first season on our farm in South Africa and he got every mare he covered pregnant. We are so happy to have the blood of A.P. Indy live on in our new foals to hit the ground in a few months. Now it is time for A.P. Indy to leave the girls alone, rest for awhile and reflect on all he has done.  

hk

14 Apr 2011 7:45 AM
Slew

If you loved Slew, you couldn't help but love A P Indy.  (Also, being a fan of the Indy 500, and amazed by AJ Foyt...I sort of connected the 2 in my mind).  A great champion, and a champion sire.  And just look at the Derby horses we're rooting for this year...just how many were sired by A P and his sons at stud?  Royally bred, dominant on the track, reigning as a sire, what more could we ask?  Thanks A P, for everything...enjoy your retirement; it has been well-earned.

Lenny, will he stay at Lane's End or go to the Ky Horse Park to gossip in the Hall of Champions with Cigar?

14 Apr 2011 8:54 AM
michelle

@ MRO: A.P. Indy had NOTHING to do with Allen Paulson. He was bred by William Farish (the 3rd) and William Kilroy. Put through sale and purchased by Tomonori Tsurumaki for 2.9 million as a yearling. Please, don't misinform people!

A.P. Indy is one of 3 of the top sires we've lost in recent times. (Kingmambo,Storm Cat and A.P) I have been lucky enough to ride some of his babies and grandbabies! Work for Frankie Brothers (trainer of Puplit) and anything to do with A.P is completely a dream to be around! I can only hope he lives a long happy retirement. "You've done enough for us!"

14 Apr 2011 11:07 AM
NINE BELLS

great in the breeding shed , avarage on the track

14 Apr 2011 11:55 AM
Matthew W

Lenny, I was at Lakeshore Lanes, in Albany, Oregon, when I first saw A P Indy race--he ran a rather slow 6 1/2 furlongs, over a heavy/slow track---me and my friends all said he was the next year's Derby winner--we were only wrong cuz he got hurt--I loved that head-low action--ala Snow Chief--as well as John Henry--I think some horses learn how to get their air better by slanting their "snouts" forward, thus, head-low---any how, he held it low, and he had the stamina! As a horse/sire, A P Indy accomplished over here what Sunday Silence might have done--along with Storm Cat the most importand sire lineage of the era....(in USA)

14 Apr 2011 1:56 PM
TerriV

This past November the Sunday after the Breeders Cup, we left Louisville and drove to Lane's End. We'd called and they were having an Open House.  We were so  impressed with all the stallions but the one who still stood far and above the others was AP Indy. I fell in love with him all over again.  What a wonderful personality!!  I had a picture taken while he let me hug and pet him.  You'd never have known he was a stallion.  He is still as gorgeous and impressive as he was in his youth and is the epitome of the Thoroughbred.

14 Apr 2011 5:06 PM
Jon

Both AP Indy and his daddy loved to eat.  They had that in common too.  Yes, it's nice to see so many of his grandsons (out of his sons) in this year's Derby chase.  I'm watching them...and his own son, Astrology. I'm also keeping my eye on Slew's grandsons, Alternation (out of his daughter Alternate) and Sway Away (out of his daughter Seattle Shimmer).  I'll be glued to the TV tomorrow watching them in the Arkansas Derby.  Wish they were not in the same race, but....

15 Apr 2011 11:53 AM
LauraJ

@Nine Bells, you have a rather odd concept of "average."

15 Apr 2011 8:35 PM
smartycat

Thank you Lenny for a beautifully written richly deserved tribute to one of my all-time favorite stallions. Indeed, what a legacy he has established that continues through his offspring. Appreciative kudos also to Bill Farish & his Lanes End staff for their impeccable management of his career. I am so thankful I got to visit with this magnificent champion last October - he looked very happy & content. I hope he enjoys many healthy years ahead. Long live this king! How I wish ALL ex-Thoroughbred racehorses could retire knowing they will be cared for in a manner similar to A.P. Indy.    

17 Apr 2011 3:03 PM
txhorsefan

Sunny Farm - I love your dialogue!  And I totally agree that is a wonderful idea that would befit a royal retirement.  Here's hoping Lane's End will do something special like that for him.  :)

18 Apr 2011 9:44 PM
Boxwood

Great article!! And ironically enough I just saw AP at Lanes End on Monday. He looks great and truly is an incredible rock star.. I know he is enjoying his retirement - you can see it in his eyes..sorry I can't post a photo here..I took several ...long live the King!!

20 Apr 2011 4:45 PM
sten

What does A.P.stand for?

20 Apr 2011 8:52 PM

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