Kentucky Derby winning horse Fusaichi Pegasus died at the age of 26


Fusaichi Pegasus, the 2000 Kentucky Derby winning horse, has died of old age complications, his owner said Wednesday. The horse is 26 years old.

Fusaichi Pegasus was euthanized Tuesday at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky, due to infirmities of old age, his farm said. The horse was purchased as a one-year-old for $4 million by Fusao Sekiguchi at the July 1998 Keeneland sale by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale.

Jockey Kent Desormeaux on horseback

Jockey Kent Desormeaux crosses the finish line over Fusaichi Pegasus, left, to win the 126th Kentucky Derby ahead of Aptitude, right, and jockey Alex O. Solis May 6, 2000 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (MICHELLE WILKINS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Fu Peg is a fantastic racehorse and a colorful character,” Ashford Stud general manager Dermot Ryan said in a news release. “I want to thank Richard Barry and all of his team, past and present, for providing the highest level of care for him while he was at Ashford.”

Fusaichi Pegasus won the San Felipe Stakes and Wood Memorial before winning the 2000 Kentucky Derby as a 2–1 favorite. It was the first time the favorite had won since 1979. Kent’s horse Desormeaux beat Aptitude by 1.5 lengths. He finished second in the Preakness.


Riding the Fusaichi Pegasus

Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, with track racer Andrew Durnin, works five distance distance at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 15, 2000. (AP Photo/Garry L. Jones, Files)

Fusaichi Pegasus retired with six wins in nine rounds and earnings of $1,994,4000.

The colt began his stud career in 2001 at Ashmore, with Coolmore paying an estimated $60 million for the rights to his stallion – a record at the time. He sired six worldwide champions and Grae 1 stakes winners such as Bandini, Champ Pegasus, Haradasun and Roman Ruler.

Fusaichi Pegasus in the cage

2000 Kentucky Derby winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite Fusaichi Pegasus sticks out his tongue during his meal after morning practice on November 2, 2000 at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky. (JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)

He did stallion stints in the Southern Hemisphere which produced Bronzo. His stud career ends in 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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