Champion Fleet Indian Dies

Five of her six wins during her championship season came in graded stakes.

Eclipse Award winner Fleet Indian was euthanized the night of Oct. 1 because of complications from colic. The 10-year-old Indian Charlie mare had been sent a few days earlier to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington.

Fleet Indian, who was not in foal at the time of her death, was owned by Summer Wind Farm, owned by Frank Lyon Jr. and his wife, Jane, and located near Georgetown, Ky. Fleet Indian was sold privately to Summer Wind after she was bought back for $3.9 million at the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She was in foal to Storm Cat at the time.

“She was an amazing mare, and we were blessed having her,” said the couple’s daughter, Karen Bailey. “She will be missed.”

From 2007 through 2010, a four-year college scholarship was awarded in Fleet Indian’s name through The Race for Education to a child of workers in the Thoroughbred industry. The annual scholarship presentation has been made in Saratoga after the Fleet Indian Stakes.

This year, both the scholarship and the race were renamed Olivia M. Saylor/Fleet Indian to honor both. Ceremonies were held at Belmont Park on Belmont Day and at Saratoga on July 31, Olivia’s 22nd birthday.  Olivia, whose passion was the Thoroughbred, died Jan. 1.

"The Olivia M. Saylor/Fleet Indian scholarship and race will be continued annually. Both are gone but will not be forgotten," said Olivia's father Paul Saylor, who raced Fleet Indian.

Fleet Indian, the 2006 champion older female, was trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Jose Santos, Fleet Indian won all six of her races—all stakes—before pulling up with a suspensory injury as the favorite in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I). Her triumphs that year included victories in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) and the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I).

Fleet Indian, who had begun her racing career for Stan E. Fulton, was retired with 13 wins from 19 races and earnings of $1,704,513.

Fleet Indian produced four foals. Her first offspring, a Storm Cat colt, sold for $2.05 million to John Ferguson at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale. Named Storm ‘n Indian, he has placed in two starts. At this year’s Keeneland September sale, Fleet Indian’s daughter by Distorted Humor  sold for $500,000 to Shadwell Estate Co.

Fleet Indian’s last offspring, a Medaglia d'Oro  filly named Castlegrace, was foaled in April.

Bred in New York by Thomas/Lakin, Fleet Indian was produced from the Afleet mare Hustleeta.

Summer Wind remembers Fleet Indian:

Where do you begin to describe a mare like Fleet Indian? She seemed too grand for words. She was Fleet Indian.
She was an incredible racehorse. She was awe inspiring. She was a champion. She was Fleet Indian.
She broke her leg. She survived. She was a fighter. She was Fleet Indian.
She was a wonderful broodmare. She was a loving mother. Her first foal was a sales topper, no surprise. She was Fleet Indian.
She was big and beautiful. She was kind and gentle. She was Fleet Indian.
She graced our pastures and our lives. Now our hearts break. May God smile on her in heaven. May she live on in our hearts and in her foals. After all, she was Fleet Indian.