Tune in to live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis any day of the week and you will see at least a handful of horses proudly bearing the word “Justice” in their names. These racehorses are all bred or owned by Greg Justice of Justice Farms and represent his longtime commitment to the Indiana Thoroughbred industry.
Greg Justice has been involved in Indiana horse racing for thirty years, long before Horseshoe Indianapolis first opened its doors as Indiana Downs in 2009. He has seen the industry grow firsthand; the competition has become tougher, the purses are higher, the awards for breeders and stallion owners are bigger, and more people are getting involved every year.
“It’s gotten more competitive over the years, you’ve got to have a good horse to win now,” Justice explained. “They’ve really improved and purses have increased, and of course, the Breeders Awards have increased. So you’ve got a lot more people doing this now.”
Justice has had no problem adjusting to the heightened competition. He foals out about 35 horses a year in Indiana and is successful with both those he keeps to race himself and those he chooses to sell.
As an owner alone Justice has won 81 races to date and earned more than $2 million. His exploits as a breeder as also well known; he’s won multiple Indiana Breeder of the Year awards and has produced the likes of ‘21 Indiana Horse of the Year and Three-Year-Old Bred Colt Hard Luck Justice, ‘21 Indiana Champion Sired Two-Year-Old Filly Holy Justice, and ‘22 Champion Claiming Sired Horse Bootdaddy Justice.
His success as a breeder allows him to take advantage of the state’s lucrative Breeders Awards Program. The breeder of a registered Indiana-bred who wins any race at Horseshoe Indianapolis earns 20% of the gross purse for all stake, allowance, and claiming races, except when entered for a claiming price of less than $10,000. He can also earn 10% of the winner’s share of the purse for out-of-state victories when Horseshoe Indianapolis’ racing season comes to an end.
Greg Justice also has his hat in the stallion owners ring. He stands Harry’s Holiday and Lantana Mob at Breakway Farm in Dillsboro, IN, as he knows his stallions can thrive in this regional program. Harry’s Holiday is especially popular due to his desirable pedigree; he is out of a half-sister to Leading Sire Into Mischief and Champion racemare Beholder, and is sired by Harlan’s Holiday.
Harry’s Holiday was the Leading Sire in Indiana by Progeny Earnings ($1,034,401), Winners (20), and Number of Black-Type Performers (2) in 2022 and still tops the list so far in 2023. He was also the busiest stallion in the state in 2022, covering 47 mares.
Lantana Mob, too, stakes his claim among Indiana sires. In 2022 he was the #5 on the list by Progeny Earnings ($465,963) and #4 by Percentage of Black-Type Winners (5.6%).
Indiana’s Stallion Owner Awards program incentivizes Justice and other owners to stand their stallions in this state. The Indiana Breed Development Program awards 10% of the gross purse for all stake, allowance, and claiming race wins (except for when entered for a claiming price of less than $10,000) at Horseshoe Indianapolis to the owner or lessee of the winner’s sire.
Justice's astute business sense leads him to the ITOBA Fall Mixed Sale each year as he knows that the majority of the horses purchased at this sale will race at Horseshoe Indianapolis. This savvy move enables Justice to continue reaping rewards from his horses after they change hands through the 20% Breeders Awards and 10% Stallion Owners Awards.
“If you sell your horses at the Indiana sale, there’s a 95% chance that they’re going to race up there,” Justice explained. When his horses go to other sales, they often end up at tracks outside of Indiana which limits his ability to earn Awards. Justice envisions a continued expansion of the ITOBA Sale, fueled by a growing influx of high-quality horses from himself and other breeders.
“I’d like to see more people participate in the sale, come to the sale,” Justice said. “A lot of people are bringing some nice horses, so as long as things keep increasing - the state races [purses] and things - I don’t see why more people won’t get involved.”
Meanwhile, Justice and his friends enjoy watching the horses he’s bred and own thrive at Horseshoe Indianapolis. It’s particularly easy for his friends to keep track of his runners due to his surname being a main component in all of his horse’s names.
“A lot of my buddies follow my horses. They watch a lot of races and bet and I know how they do because they’ll call me about five minutes after the race. It’s just so easy for them to keep up because they’ve got ‘Justice’ in their names.”
“It comes in handy, so I guess I’ll continue that,” he laughed. “It’s just getting harder and harder to come up with Justice in there.”
“It means a lot,” he mused, reflecting on his success in Indiana. “I get a lot of enjoyment out of that. At the end of the year, they have the award banquet and the better your horses do, the more trophies and plaques you get. It just makes it more fun.”
Sixteen yearlings bred by Greg Justice will enter the ring at the 2023 ITOBA Live Yearling Sale. As they exchange hands and head to their new homes, and eventually into the starting gates at Horseshoe Indianapolis, the Justice legacy will continue to grow.
This story was sponsored by the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (ITOBA).
The 2023 ITOBA Fall Mixed Sale commences at Horseshoe Indianapolis on October 14th with a Live Yearling Sale immediately followed by a Live Paddock Sale of horses of racing age. The sale will conclude with the Mixed Digital Sale of horses of all ages at HorseAuctionsUSA.com from October 16-19th. Live broadcast and online bidding for all sales will hosted by HorseAuctionsUSA.com, so you can get involved from anywhere in the world. Learn more about how to seize your opportunity to participate in the lucrative Indiana Thoroughbred breeding and racing program at ITOBA.com.