(Itzforever named “Horse of the Year” at Horseshoe Indianapolis / Photo by Coady Photography)
From the Horseshoe Indianapolis Media Team:
Itzforever 2023 Horse of the Year at Horseshoe Indianapolis
As the 2023 season comes to a close, Horseshoe Indianapolis honors the top performers of the 123-day meet. Itzforever from the Tony Granitz Stable was crowned 2023 Leading Thoroughbred Horse of the Year with five wins and a total of $244,150 in earnings.
A three-year-old daughter of Forever d’Oro, Itzforever has been with the Granitz Stable from the beginning. She was a $60,000 purchase from the Fasig Tipton October Yearling Sale in 2021 by David Walters, who has been an owner with Tony Granitz for more than 20 years. Now a resident of Nashville, Tenn., Walters had the best season of his career with Itzforever.
“This filly (Itzforever) was a second foal from a mare Tom Dorris used to race and she made quite a bit of money, so I liked her breeding,” said Granitz. “We knew there was a $10,000 reserve on her, but we had to go all the way to $60,000 to get her. This is the best horse David has ever owned and she gave him his two biggest stakes wins of his career.”
Itzforever won the $100,000 ITOBA Stallion Fillies and returned on Indiana Champions Day for a win in the $200,000 Lady Fog Horn, a race that means a lot to Granitz.
“We were so thrilled to win the Lady Fog Horn with her since we used to train Lady Fog Horn,” added Granitz. “That is a special win for us and one of the highlights of the meet.”
Itzforever and members of the Granitz Stable were presented with a blanket for the honor as Leading Thoroughbred Horse of the Year. Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager made the presentation along with Rachel McLaughlin, Racing Broadcast Production Manager at Horseshoe Indianapolis.
“This filly has really come around this year,” added Granitz. “She didn’t show a lot as a two-year-old, but she came back strong this year. The first time Marcelino (Pedroza Jr.) rode her, he said she was waiting on horses and needed blinkers. As soon as we did that, she won four straight. She ended the year with five straight races on the dirt. Our team, including exercise rider Caleb (Longworth), groom Jaime (Conche), and Juan (Gongora), my assistant, have worked hard with her all year.”
The 22nd season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing begins with a special Monday, April 8 racing program at 12 p.m. for the Total Solar Eclipse Day in the area. Racing extends through Thursday, Nov. 14. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visitwww.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.