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Itzforever named 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 in Shelbyville with five wins and a total of $244,150 in earnings.

 A three-year-old daughter of Forever d’Oro, Itzforever (photo, right) 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.”

Quarter Horse of the Year

It’s been quite a year for Red Headed Beach. The near perfect two-year-old filly completed the season with six wins in seven starts, setting all kinds of records along the way to be named 2023 Leading Quarter Horse of the Year at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

A daughter of Escondido Beach, the state’s top stallion for numerous years, Red Headed Beach began her career with a third-place finish. That’s the last time she saw the heels of her opponents. She reeled off six straight wins, including titles in three Futurities, a first in the history of Quarter Horse racing in Indiana.

“She’s a great horse and a super horse to be around,” said trainer Tim Eggleston. “She got her name when she was little but she’s not like that at all anymore. She’s a super gate horse and doesn’t make mistakes. That’s all you can ask.”



Red Headed Beach (photo) completed her freshman campaign with a total of $365,779, which set a new record for most purse money earned in one season by a Quarter Horse or a Thoroughbred. Her six wins also puts her in pretty impressive company as she joins Beach Cartel and Beach Treat for most wins in one season. She also joins Pistolpacking Pepsi, Beach Treat, and Valiantinecandyrocks for most stakes win in one season at three.

“For a two-year-old to break records like she did, that’s phenomenal,” added Eggleston. “We’ve had a great team effort behind her. My wife, Keli, has worked with her since she was a baby, so she has a special place in our barn.”

Owned by Pattie Marshall of Michigan, Red Headed Beach is currently taking a break from racing. She is in Texas where she is undergoing embryo transplant procedures with the hopes of having a foal from her sooner than later from a reset mare.

“She will stay in Texas until probably January,” noted Eggleston. “Then she will head back home, and she’ll be back next year.”

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