(Fuente Ovejuna / Photos by Coady Media)

From the Horseshoe Indianapolis Media Team / Tammy Knox:

Fuente Ovejuna on fire in Indiana General Assembly

at Horseshoe Indianapolis

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Saturday, July 6, 2024) — In the words of Track Announcer John Dooley, it was “a wild finish to the line” in the 16th running of the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff Handicap Saturday, July 6 during Indiana Derby Day at Horseshoe Indianapolis. In a five-horse photo, Fuente Ovejuna got the nod at the wire for the win, the largest of her career.


Fuente Ovejuna began from the center of the gate in the 10-horse lineup and used enough speed to stay close in the preliminary stages. Her white blaze was visible as she was surrounded by horses past the grandstand the first time in the one and one-sixteenth mile event and somehow found a hole to move over to the rail. This move by jockey Corey Lanerie put the mare in third along the inside around the first turn.


As the field headed down the backstretch, Fuente Ovejuna was right behind race leader Bolivie and Alberto Burgos, Horseshoe Indianapolis’ current leading jockey. They tracked the top horse into the final turn, buried among challengers setting up for the stretch run. Fuente Ovejuna found a seam and moved out a lane at the head of the stretch before finding another opening and moving out one lane further. From there, it was a mad dash to the wire. Bolivie was holding her own with Stir Crazy and Edgar Morales shooting up the inside. Close quarters brought five horses to the wire at the same time with Fuente Ovejuna getting the edge by a head over Stir Crazy. Bolivie and Join the Dance, ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, could not be separated at the wire to finish in a dead heat for third.


“She broke really good, put me right behind the lead,” said Lanerie. “I thought I’d try to follow the five, who I thought was the horse to beat. And she got me to the quarter pole. I just got her clear and hoped to be the best horse. And she got there first. It was a pretty comparative bunch. I watched her replays, and she looked like she was getting better. I don’t think she really cared for the turf last time at Churchill, is what they told me. But she handled this one really good today.”


Fuente Ovejuna was underestimated in the field, paying $20.80 for the win. The five-year-old chestnut mare is owned by Farfellow Farms LTD and trained by Brendan Walsh. It was her first win of the year in her fifth outing and her third career win overall. She competed in last year’s Indiana General Assembly but had better results this year.


Although Brendan Walsh was not present at the race, he provided a comment about Fuente Ovejuna as he was boarding a plane for another race.


“I’m very pleased for the filly as she’s show great heart and always gives 100 percent,” said Walsh. “I’m delighted for the Knelman’s and for Corey, too, who rode her to perfection.”


Fuente Ovejuna, bred in Great Britain with an Irish sire and dam, moved over the $200,000 mark in career earnings for her connections. It was her first win in more than a year.


The 22nd season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Thursday, Nov. 14. Racing is held Monday through Thursday at 2:10 p.m. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis/racing or find the track on Social Media @HSIndyRacing.