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Fusaichi Pegasus, 2000 Kentucky Derby winner, dies at 26

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — Fusaichi Pegasus, the 2000 Kentucky Derby winner, has died. He was 26.

He was euthanized Tuesday at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky, due to the infirmities of old age, the farm said Wednesday.

Nicknamed “Fu Peg,” he was purchased as a yearling for $4 million by Fusao Sekiguchi at the 1998 Keeneland July sale. He was trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale.

Fusaichi Pegasus won the San Felipe Stakes and Wood Memorial before winning the 2000 Kentucky Derby as the 2-1 favorite, the first time a favorite had won since 1979.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Fusaichi Pegasus won the Derby by 1 1/2 lengths over Aptitude. He also became the highest-priced horse purchased at public auction to win the Derby. He finished second in the Preakness.

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He retired with six wins in nine career starts and earnings of $1,994,400.

He began his stud career in 2001 at Ashford, with Coolmore paying a reported $60 million for his stallion rights, a record at the time. He sired six champions around the world and such Grade 1 stakes winners as Bandini, Champ Pegasus, Haradasun and Roman Ruler. He performed stallion duties in the southern hemisphere that produced Bronzo, who won horse of the year. His stud career ended in 2020.

"Fu Peg was a fantastic racehorse and a colorful character,” Ashford Stud general manager Dermot Ryan said.

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports