With a heavy heart, I share the news of the passing of Fusaichi Pegasus, the remarkable winner of the 2000 GI Kentucky Derby.
Coolmore America recently announced his euthanization at Ashford Stud, citing the infirmities of old age as the cause.
Fondly known as ‘Fu Peg,’ this magnificent horse impacted the racing world.
Today, we reflect on his incredible journey from being a $4 million yearling to a celebrated champion and influential sire.
Bred by Arthur Hancock and Bob and Janice McNair of Stonerside Farm, Fusaichi Pegasus entered the racing scene as a high-priced yearling, purchased for $4 million by Fusao Sekiguchi at the 1998 Keeneland July sale.
Under the guidance of trainer Neil Drysdale, he showcased his exceptional talent by triumphing in races like the GII San Felipe S. and the GII Wood Memorial, setting the stage for his crowning achievement in the 2000 Kentucky Derby, where he emerged victorious as the crowd favorite.
While narrowly missing the top spot in the GI Preakness S., his legacy as a Kentucky Derby champion remained untarnished.
Following his illustrious racing career, a fierce bidding war erupted among the farms in Lexington for the opportunity to secure Fusaichi Pegasus as a stallion.
Ultimately, he retired to Ashford Stud at the close of 2000, commanding a record-breaking sum.
As a sire, he sired six champions worldwide and produced notable Grade I winners such as Roman Ruler, Champ Pegasus, Haradasun (Aus), and Bandini.
His southern hemisphere ventures at Haras Don Alberto and Haras Philipson also yielded champion older horse Bronzo (Chi).
At the same time, he earned the distinction of being the broodmare sire of the 2023 Chilean Triple Crown victor Fortino (Chi) (Midshipman).
In 2020, Fusaichi Pegasus was pensioned from his stud duties, marking the beginning of a well-deserved retirement at Ashford Stud.
Those who cared for him, including Ashford Stud’s general manager Dermot Ryan, cherished his incredible racing prowess and vibrant personality.
They thank Richard Barry and the entire team, both past and present, for providing the utmost care and attention to this extraordinary athlete throughout his time at Ashford.
Though we bid farewell to Fusaichi Pegasus, his legacy as a Kentucky Derby champion and prolific sire will continue to inspire generations of horse enthusiasts.
Let us remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments and the lasting impression he left on horse racing.
Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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