Holy Justice and Splash of Tonic fought gamely to the wire with Holy Justice getting the right head bob to win the $100,000 Miss Indiana Stakes Wednesday at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Indiana.
Ridden by Jose Riquelme, Holy Justice (photo, right) got away from post two in the bulky field of 12 with some early speed. The Harry’s Holiday chestnut filly was joined by Mi Estrella and Fernando De La Cruz from the inside and Flirty Dancer and Joshua Morales from the outside.
Once the one mile and 70-yard race progressed, Holy Justice came out with the lead heading down the backstretch. She held her ground and was not being intimidated by the horses preparing for the final quarter of the race.
In the stretch, Splash of Tonic joined Holy Justice on the outside and the two fought neck and neck down the wire with Splash of Tonic, ridden by Joe Ramos, getting a head in front a couple of times only to have Holy Justice fight back. The two fillies finished side by side at the wire with Holy Justice scoring the victory by a nose in a time of 1:46.41.
Torte and Florent Geroux rallied up from the back of the pack to finish third.
Holy Justice was the second choice of the field, paying $9.80 to win. It was her third win in four starts this season for trainer Genaro Garcia and owner Bruce Murphy and Garcia’s Southwest Racing Stables, Inc.
“That was a very tough race, and both of those horses were not giving in,” said Murphy. “And neither one of them had the greatest starting spot. But this filly (Holy Justice) is just tough. Her heart is almost bigger than she is. She’s not a very big filly at all. I want to thank everyone from the Garcia barn for their hard work with her.”
Murphy and Garcia picked Holy Justice out of the Indiana Mixed Sale last fall, and although she was small, Garcia liked the way she was put together. They acquired her for $1,800. She has now won in excess of $150,000.