Fusaichi Pegasus – £55m

Approximate value

He is the most expensive horse ever sold. His racing career was impressive, with nine starts, six wins and two losses. After retiring, he became the second best breeding horse after Shareef Dancer. He was bought for this ridiculously high amount by Irish breeder Coolmore Stud, the world’s largest thoroughbred breeding operation. He is now in Kentucky.

A horse of virtually impeccable breeding and conformation, Fusaichi Pegasus was expected to be a good one and was. After his seemingly effortless win in the 2000 Kentucky Derby (USA-I), he was viewed as a virtual lock for the American Triple Crown. Nonetheless, he ended up delivering less than had been expected of him and ended his racing career in a cloud of disappointment. His stud career has not improved on his track record.

Race record

9 starts, 6 wins, 2 seconds, 0 thirds, US$1,994,400


  • Won Kentucky Derby (USA-I, 10FD, Churchill Downs)
  • Won San Felipe Stakes (USA-II, 8.5FD, Santa Anita)
  • Won Wood Memorial Stakes (USA-II, 9FD, Aqueduct)
  • Won Jerome Handicap (USA-II, 8FD, Belmont)
  • 2nd Preakness Stakes (USA-I, 9.5FD, Pimlico)

As an individual

A strong, well-made bay standing 16.1½ hands, Fusaichi Pegasus combines the muscular build and excellent balance typical of the best of the Northern Dancer tribe with the strong hindquarters and superior hind leg characteristic of his sire Mr. Prospector. He had a smooth stride and possessed excellent acceleration. He was an extremely strong-willed and quirky horse during his training days and has had a reputation for passing temperament issues to his progeny.

As a stallion

Fusaichi Pegasus reached the milestone of 75 stakes winners in September 2016 when his daughter Black Mission Fig won the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes at Prairie Downs.

Notable progeny

Bandini (USA), Champ Pegasus (USA), Floral Pegasus (AUS), Haradasun (AUS), Ketal (USA), Roman Ruler (USA)


Foaled in Kentucky, Fusaichi Pegasus was bred by Arthur Hancock III and Stonerside Ltd. and was sold at the 1998 Keeneland July yearling sale for a sale-topping US$4 million. His purchaser was Fusao Sekiguchi, who sent to colt to Neil Drysdale’s barn for training. In June 2000, Sekiguchi sold the colt to Coolmore for a price variously reported from US$60 million up to over US$70 million, eclipsing the previous stallion record of US$40 million paid for Shareef Dancer. Following the deal, major Japanese breeder Teruya Yoshida revealed that he and his family had owned a minority interest in the horse since the fall of 1999; this interest was not part of the Coolmore deal. Following Fusaichi Pegasus’ retirement from racing, he stood as a shuttle sire at Ashford Stud in Kentucky and Coolmore Australia beginning in 2001. He later shuttled to Haras Don Alberto in Chile.

Pedigree notes

Fusaichi Pegasus is inbred 3×5 to two-time American Horse of the Year Native Dancer and 5×5 to two-time English/Irish champion sire Nearco, an unbeaten champion on the racetrack. He is a full brother to Bliss, dam of 2009 Cliff Hanger Stakes (USA-IIIT) winner Brave Tin Soldier. He is also a half-brother to Fortyniner Fever (by Forty Niner), dam of 2007 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (USA-III) winner Texas Fever (by Victory Gallop) and stakes winners Bold Angel (by Cat Thief; dam of 2015 Starlet Stakes, USA-I, winner Street Fancy, by Street Sense) and Saint Isabelle (by Saint Liam).

Angel Fever, the dam of Fusaichi Pegasus, was listed stakes-placed in a career lasting only two starts. She is a full sister to 1992 Preakness Stakes (USA-I) winner Pine Bluff and a half sister to 1987 Arkansas Derby (USA-I) winner Demons Begone (by Elocutionist). Their dam Rowdy Angel was a useless race mare, failing to win in 13 starts, but is a half-sister to restricted stakes winner Ramten (by Smarten).

The next dam in Fusaichi Pegasus’ tail-female line is the stakes-winning Rambunctious mare Ramhyde, whose half-sister Castle Star (by Star de Naskra) is the dam of listed stakes winner Flathorn (by Far North). Ramhyde, in turn, is out of Castle Hyde (by Tulyar–Bold Irish, by Fighting Fox), a half-sister to the stakes-winning colts The Irishman (by Nasrullah) and Knocklofty (by Parnassus); to 1975 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Shenanigans (by Native Dancer), dam of the immortal Ruffian (by Reviewer) and the fine racer and sire Icecapade (by Nearctic); and to Longford (by Menow), dam of 1963 American co-champion 3-year-old filly Castle Forbes (by Tulyar).

SOURCE: American Classic Pedigrees

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