Commissioner will be the final classic starter for A.P. Indy, who is one of 14 Belmont Stakes victors to go on to sire a Belmont winner. The current 3-year-olds are the final crop for the powerhouse who twice finished as leading sire before being pensioned in 2011.
A.P. Indy won the 1992 Belmont Stakes and is the sire of 2007 Belmont winner Rags to Riches. A victory by Commissioner would vault A.P. Indy into an even more exclusive club as only five previous winners of the 1 1/2-mile classic have sired more than one horse to secure Belmont victory.
Leading the way is 1920 Belmont winner Man o' War, who is the sire of three Belmont winners: American Flag (1925), Crusader (1926), and Triple Crown winner War Admiral (1937). Belmont winners who sired two horses to take the Belmont include 1901 victor Commando, sire of back to back winners Peter Pan and Colin (1907-08); 1930 Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox, also a sire of back to back winners in 1935 Triple Crown winner Omaha and 1936 winner Granville; 1943 Triple Crown winner Count Fleet, sire of back to back winners Counterpoint and One Count (1951-52); and 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, sire of Swale (1984) and A.P. Indy.
Before being pensioned at Lane's End in 2011, A.P. Indy finished as leading sire in 2003 and 2006 and among the leading sires six other times. Commissioner will be the final opportunity for A.P. Indy to nail down a second Belmont win.
WinStar Farm homebred Commissioner is trained by Todd Pletcher, who saddled Rags to Riches to victory. Rags to Riches was the first filly to win the Belmont in more than 100 years, dating back to Tanya in 1905.
Commissioner enters off a runner-up finish to Belmont rival Tonalist in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) May 10 at Belmont, a race Pletcher believes will prove a useful prep for a horse who should thrive with added distance.
"I thought his Peter Pan was an encouraging effort," Pletcher said. "The main thing is, we've always felt like the mile and a half was kind of what he was looking for."
Commissioner is out of stakes winner Flaming Heart, who is by 1997 Belmont winner Touch Gold. As A.P. Indy is a son of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, Commissioner boasts three Belmont winners in the first two generations of his pedigree.
Commissioner will try to secure the third classic win overall for A.P. Indy, who also is the sire of 2006 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Bernardini .