October 25, 2016

MIDWAY, Ky. (AP) Monarchos, whose Kentucky Derby-winning time in 2001 was second only to Secretariat, has died. He was 18.

Nuckols Farm owner Charles Nuckols III confirmed Tuesday that Monarchos died early Saturday after emergency surgery the day before to repair a ruptured intestine.

The grey son of Maria's Mon and Regal Band by Dixieland Band won four races with a second and three thirds in 10 starts from 2000-2002 and earned more than $1.72 million. Monarchos' greatest triumph came in the 2001 Derby at Churchill Downs, where he was bumped by Point Given at the start and came from the outside at the stretch to catch Congaree and win by 4 3/4 lengths over Invisible Ink with Congaree third.

His time of 1:59.97 with Jorge Chavez aboard was just behind the 1973 Triple Crown champion's record 1:59.40.

BloodHorse first reported Monarchos' passing.

''We didn't think that much about his time at the time because we were trying to get to the winner's circle,'' Nuckols said. ''It didn't hit us until an hour afterward.''

Monarchos went on to finish sixth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes. He closed his career as a 4-year-old with a third in an allowance race at Gulfstream.

The Kentucky-bred did not sell until his 2-year-old season when John C. Oxley bought him for $170,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale. Monarchos retired to stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky before moving to Nuckols Farm. He sired winners of over $19 million including 2009 Eclipse Award champion female sprinter Informed Decision.

''He was as happy as he could be,'' Nuckols said of the horse's years at his farm. ''He was so friendly and easy to get along with. We ran out of guest books because so many people wanted to see him. He was a great horse.''

Nuckols said Monarchos was buried at his farm next to Mr. Leader, another stakes winner.

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