10/04/2011 2:59AM

Fleet Indian, a.k.a. Large Marge

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The champion Fleet Indian - instantly recognizable for her oversized frame, strong face and large ears - was beloved not just for her race record but also for her unusually gentle nature.

By the spring of her 3-year-old season, the equine sweetheart was already 17 hands tall - and called "Large Marge" by her Jimmy Toner barn crew.  The nickname stuck throughout her championship season, for Todd Pletcher and owner Paul Saylor, and throughout her retirement at the idyllic Summer Wind Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. 

The Summer Wind staff cherished their gentle giant, who died at age 10 on October 1 from complications from colic.  Fleet Indian will be buried at the farm.

Above and below:  Eddie King enjoying a Belmont morning in summer 2006 aboard Fleet Indian.

Above:  Fleet Indian in October 2006 with Judy Krajewski.

Above and below:  Fleet Indian, Jose Santos up, in the 2006 Beldame (G1) at Belmont.  Balletto was second.

Above:  After Fleet Indian won the G1 Personal Ensign, she was visited by her exercise rider Val Buck and friends.  Val rode 'Large Marge' not just for Todd Pletcher but also for Jimmy Toner.

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Above:  Fleet Indian and Jose Santos winning the Personal Ensign at Saratoga, 2006.

Above:  Fleet Indian, in October 2006 at Todd Pletcher's Belmont barn, the year she was named champion older mare.

Above and below:  Fleet Indian at age 9 at her beautiful Summer Wind Farm home, June 2010.

 

Above and below:  Fleet Indian's 2010 Distorted Humor filly, now named Fleeting Smile.  Fleeting Smile sold as a yearling in 2011 for $500,000.

Fleet Indian - 2001-2011, by Indian Charlie - Hustleeta, by Afleet - $1,704,513 in earnings, 19 starts, 13 victories.  2006 Eclipse Award champion older mare.  2006 New York-bred Horse of the Year and champion older mare.

Article about her death:

http://www.drf.com/news/fleet-indian-eclipse-winner-and-dam-2-million-yearling-dies-colic-complications

Also, a loving farewell to 32-year-old D'Accord, too.  The ancient, and incredibly cool and proud, son of Secretariat lived out his life with his loving caregivers at Akindale Farm.   Here's a flashback to his final birthday party, held earlier this year:

http://www.drf.com/blogs/daccords-32nd-birthday-party