Of the 136 past winners of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), an even 12 have gone on to sire a Belmont winner (or winners) while at stud. In the 137th edition to be run this Saturday, 1992 winner A.P. Indy could make it an uneven 13 with two sons entered, and Thunder Gulch, sire of 2001 winner Point Given, could have a second son gain Belmont glory.
With the draw now set, A.P. Indy
is represented by two contenders; A.P. Arrow, ninth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and recent allowance winner on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) card, Indy Storm. Thunder Gulch
will be represented by Peter Pan (gr. II) runner-up Reverberate.
Though the trio seems likely to be overlooked at the windows, with Preakness star Afleet Alex and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo on the bill, their pedigrees on both sides suggest they have what it takes to perform on this stage.
A homebred for the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, A.P. Arrow was bred out of the Mr. Prospector mare Garimpeiro. Going back three male generations in Garimpeiro's pedigree one can find 1953 Belmont winner Native Dancer. Add to this fact A.P. Indy is the son of 1977 Belmont winner Seattle Slew and the pedigree certainly bodes well for A.P. Arrow.
Bred by Jim Tafel, Indy Storm, who runs in the silks of Tracy Farmer, is out of the Unbridled mare Unbridled Wind. A 1990 Kentucky Derby winner, Unbridled sired 2003 Belmont winner Empire Maker
, who ended Funny Cide's bid for a Triple Crown on a muddy Belmont rack.
Reverberate, bred in Kentucky by the Edward Seltzer Trust and raced by Centennial Farms, is out of the Proud Truth mare Peggibonsi. Proud Truth is by Graustark, sire of 1975 winner Avatar for Arthur "Buddy" Seeligson. Peggibonsi's pedigree three generations back also boasts Northern Dancer, whose broodmare sire was Native Dancer.
At 1 1/2 miles, the Belmont has gotten the reputation as "the test of the champion." Of that esteemed group of 12 sires that have won the Belmont and gone on to sire a subsequent winner, it's worth noting that four--Gallant Fox, Count Fleet, Secretariat, and Seattle Slew--also won the Triple Crown.
The first Belmont winner to sire one of his own was Duke of Magenta. The 1878 top finisher was represented by Eric, winner of the 1889 running. Shortly after that came Spendthrift, the 1879 winner whose son Hastings captured the 30th Belmont in 1896.
Hastings, grandsire of the legendary Man o' War, and whose Masterman took the 1902 running, holds the distinction as the only son of a Belmont winner to win the race himself and then go on to sire a winner of his own.
Man o' War, who annexed the 1920 running, stands atop the list with three sons to match him in Belmont glory. Just five years (tied for the shortest span with Gallant Fox) stand between his win and that of his first offspring to also win, American Flag (1925). Crusader followed in 1926, and 11 years later, in 1937, Triple Crown winner War Admiral would land the series' final leg.
Three others: Commando (1901), represented by Peter Pan (1907) and Colin (1908); Gallant Fox (1930), represented by Omaha (1935) and Granville (1936); and Count Fleet (1943) with Counterpoint (1951) and One Count (1952) each join Man o' War as sires who, coincidentally or not, all sired back-to-back winners.
Seattle Slew (1977), represented by sons Swale (1984) and A.P. Indy (1992), also sired more than one.
And though everyone surely has Secretariat's 31-length destruction of the field in 1973 memorized as the largest margin of victory ever posted, only two other horses in the race's illustrious history--both on the list--won the Belmont by 20 or more lengths: Count Fleet (by 25) and Man o' War (by 20).
The full list of Belmont winners who sired Belmont winners is:
Man o' War (1920)--American Flag (1925), Crusader (1926), War Admiral
Commando (1901)--Peter Pan (1907), Colin (1908)Gallant Fox
(1930)--Omaha (1935), Granville (1936)Count Fleet
(1943)--Counterpoint (1951), One Count (1952)Seattle Slew
(1977)--Swale (1984), A.P. Indy (1992)
Duke of Magenta (1878)--Eric (1889)
Spendthrift (1879)--Hastings (1896)
Hastings (1896)--Masterman (1902)
The Finn (1915)--Zev (1923)
Sword Dancer (1959)--Damascus (1967)Secretariat
(1973)--Risen Star (1988)
Thunder Gulch (1995)--Point Given (2001)*Bold type
indicates Triple Crown winner