Anne M. Eberhardt

Grade I Winner Aptitude Dies in Argentina

Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Aptitude sired 19 stakes winners.

Aptitude, a leading North American runner in the early part of the last decade for Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, died in Argentina April 30. The 15-year-old son of A.P. Indy stood at Haras Vacacion. He had begun his stallion career at Juddmonte near Lexington in 2002 and first shuttled to Argentina in 2007.

Trained by Bobby Frankel, Aptitude enjoyed his greatest success as a 4-year-old in 2001. In three 1 1/4-mile stakes, he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) by 10 lengths and the Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) by 4 1/4 lengths and was moved up from second to first in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) following a disqualification.

Aptitude had begun the year in the Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). Making his first start since the previous fall, he finished sixth.

As a 3-year-old, Aptitude ran second in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) to Fusaichi Pegasus and was runner-up in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in his next start.

Aptitude was retired following an eighth-place finish in the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). He exited with a record of 5-4-2 from 15 starts and earnings of $1,965,410.

A Seattle Slew grandson, Aptitude has sired 19 stakes winners and the earners of more than $18.4 million. His North American runners include Great Hunter, who won the 2006 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I), and Gallant, winner of the 2009 Canadian classic Prince of Wales Stakes. Another of Aptitude’s runners, Steppenwolfer, ran third in the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

In South America, Aptitude sired Argentine group I winner Lange and two-time Peruvian champion Al Qasr.

Aptitude, who is a half brother to grade I winner Sleep Easy, is out of the Northern Dancer mare Dokki, a half sister to two-time champion Slew o' Gold and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Coastal.