Horse Racing

Fusaichi Pegasus, Horse of Many Firsts


There are many “firsts” associated with Fusaichi Pegasus, the 2000 GI Kentucky Derby winner, who dead at Ashford Stud on May 23 due to old age ailments that had accumulated over his 26 years.

As the first Derby winner of the 2000s, this stubborn, feisty son of Mr. Prospector was valued at $4 million at Keeneland in July, then the highest price paid for a year at that sale in 13 years. And to this day, that auction price remains the highest ever paid to any starter, let alone a Derby winner.

At 2.3-1, Fusaichi Pegasus is the first team to win a Derby since Spectacular Bid in 1979. At the dawn of the 21st Century, recall that the Derby was mired in drought. Deep drought of well-supported losers. At the time, its losing streak to its favorites (since 1979) was roughly the same amount of time back to the sport’s last Triple Crown champion (in 1978).

Although it was not clear at the time, aside from the numbers, Fusaichi Pegasus’ Derby victory would become a standard in the globalization of sport.

Fusao Sekiguchi, who owns about 80 horses in Japan, became the first horse owner from that country to campaign for the winner of the Kentucky Derby. The Japanese ties are yet to win a second Derby, but the Japan-based horses now have a points-based eligibility route to the annual Derby and the horses campaigned by Japan have gradually shown their presence in other American elite races such as the Breeder’s Cup.

“FuPeg” won a 3-10 tilt for GI Preakness S., but was upset by Red Bullet on the wet track, finishing 3 3/4 of the way in second place. He was sent to GI Belmont S., but a minor leg injury prevented him from starting. In an era where the top contenders were more or less expected to dance every dance in the Triple Crown series, his defection in 2000 meant that for the first time since 1970, both Neither the victories in the Derby nor the Preakness could match Belmont.

Sekiguchi sold Fusaichi Pegasus to Coolmore Stud in June 2000 in a widely reported (but never officially confirmed) deal for around $60-70 million. At the time, it was the highest price ever paid for a racehorse.

The purchase called for Sekiguchi to control FuPeg’s racing for the remainder of that sophomore season. Under the care of trainer Neil Drysdale, the foal won the then-GII Jerome H. at Belmont Park on September 23, missed the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup due to another foot illness and finished in second. six with a 6-5 favorite in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic to end his career.

Fusaichi Pegasus continues to select six worldwide champions and his Class I winners include Roman Ruler, Champ Pegasus, Haradasun (Aus) and Bandini. The Southern Hemisphere features Haras Don Alberto and Haras Philipson bringing in the champion the older horse Bronzo (Chi). Fusaichi Pegasus has been retired in 2020 and is living in retirement in Ashford.

Now almost a full generation (human, not equine) has passed since that 2000 Derby. The official race chart reads like the Who’s Who of the A-ranked racers and coaches.

In fact, the 1-2-3-4 drivers from that 2000 Derby (Kent Desormeaux, Alex Solis, Craig Perret, John Velazquez) are now inductees in the Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. National Hope. So are the top four coaches (Drysdale, Bobby Frankeland Todd Pletcher, who finished third and fourth). Celebrities like Jerry Bailey, Chris McCarron, Pat Day, D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert have put together an impressive list of people who also run in FuPeg’s Derby.

Pletcher’s way of saying…

That 2000 Derby was Pletcher’s first. He finished impeachment (third), More Than Ready (fourth), Trippi (11th) and Graeme Hall (easily stretched). Then 32 years old, he said after the race with a positive mood, “We showed we belong here.”

Now fast forward 23 years. Two wins in the Derby and four points later at Belmont S., Pletcher looked energized for this year’s edition of the Triple Crown’s third leg, featuring ‘TDN Rising Stars’ Forte (Violence) And faucet Trice (faucet) compete for favoritism.

Forte, the 2-year-old champion, made an easy comeback from a scratch as the favorite in the morning Derby with his right front foot bruised on the morning of the race. He’ll try 12 stretches after 10 weeks of rest.

Based on DRF‘s Formulator, Pletcher won by 21% (45 to 217) with all the starters having taken 9 to 11 weeks off in the last 5 years. In that group, his strike rate drops to 1 to 12 (8%) only in Class I races with the same layoffs.

faucet In the end, Trice may have garnered more attention, simply because of his running style that requires a mile and a half on a large oval like Belmont’s.

Despite finishing seventh in the Derby after another characteristically slow breakout and some loss of rebound momentum, that poor result masks a good moving average that is also emblematic of the team. faucet Trice’s Way.

This burly gray took quite a while to completely undress, and in both the Derby and in his previous win, at GI Blue Grass S., he put his bid from six stretch, which is something no other competitor on the Triple Crown trail has been able to do with any degree of success this season.

Pletcher also said that the winner of the GII Louisiana Derby Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo), 14th in the Derby, will overtake Belmont after showing signs of stomach upset on Friday morning. The foal did not need surgery and is recovering from fluid treatment.

Third Derby and Preakness Winner magician (good magic) is being refreshed to run at HOLD Runhappy Travers S. in August. Derby runner-up Two Phil (Spin hard) is supposed to be targeting the GIII Ohio Derby on June 24.

Preakness Wire-to-wire winner National treasures (Quality Sugar) is listed as probable for Belmont, as well as the third-deepest finisher Derby angel of the empire (Classic Empire), impressions (candy ride {Arg}), Il Miracolo (gunman), raise Cain (Violence) And Red Road One (gunman).

Belmont “may” include Arabian lion (justification), Arcangelo (Superior), prove worthy (make for curly) And regeneration (good magic).

Meanwhile, on the Left Coast…

Santa Anita’s top ponies all had to opt out of this year’s Derby due to illness. Two of them have returned to the jobs tab and are being considered for the confirmed $100,000 S. at 1 1/16 miles on June 4, according to that track’s team notes.

Ride the rocket rocket Geaux(candy ride {Arg}), who was scratched after the GI Santa Anita Derby on April 8 with soaring temperatures, practiced seven feathers in 1:26.40 (1/1) Friday for the coach Richard Mandella in preparation for Affirmation.

In just two launches in his life, the Geaux Rocket Ride has paired Beyer’s Speed ​​Numbers 92 and 96. He narrowly came out on top in the bet for GII San Felipe S. only on the second try of his life and the first in about two turns. A speed-focused threat, he deftly overcame the problem in the early part at high speed, but still managed to finish resolutely in the extended final to keep second as Face a new challenge from a more experienced winner.

Late development peeler (make for curly), who finished third in the Santa Anita Derby for coach John Shirreffs, was transferred to Louisville and participated in the Kentucky Derby. Then he also missed a start with a fever.

Skinner has returned with three productions at Santa Anita since then, including five eighths in 1:02.20 (33/44) on Sunday, with Affirmation as his next possible goal.

Realistic move (Realistic jokes), who beat both the Geaux Rocket Ride and Skinner at Santa Anita, has yet to post any published workouts since the fever left him scratched in the Derby two days before the race.


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