Family Tree leaves rivals in her wake

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Jen Caldwell

July 1st, 2016

Gary and Mary West’s Family Tree proved best by two lengths on Thursday night at Prairie Meadows in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) with jockey Florent Geroux aboard.

The Wayne Catalano trainee was three wide while tracking pacesetter Marquee Miss and 8-5 favorite Thrilled through opening splits of :23.29, :46.32 and 1:10.90. Family Tree began her run rounding the turn and was wide entering the stretch but grabbed command before pulling away to finish 1 1/16 miles on the good main track in 1:43.25.

Sent off the 3-1 second choice, Family Tree returned $8. Ready to Confess came running to take second by 3 1/2 lengths over Put Da Blame on Me, who in turn had 1 1/4 lengths to spare on fourth-place finisher For All the Grands.

Marquee Miss filled out the fifth spot and was followed under the wire by Just Wicked, Alotta Skirt, Bonita Cat, Thrilled and Kiss N Scat. Emmzy was withdrawn.

Family Tree earned her first stakes win in this spot, adding it to placings in the Plum Pretty Stakes, Trapeze Stakes and Rags to Riches Stakes. The chestnut daughter of Smart Strike improved her career record to 8-3-2-2, $309,126.

Bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm LLC and Sam-Son Farm, Family Tree is the first registered foal out of the stakes-winning Giant’s Causeway mare Giant Mover, who is herself a daughter of multiple Grade 2-scoring millionaire Gold Mover. This female family also includes Grade 1 heroines Dance Teacher and Cat Moves as well as 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) victor Hootenanny.

One race earlier at Prairie Meadows, Patrick Sullivan and J.R. Boesen’s Tarty to the Party upset the $100,000 Saylorville Stakes by a head as the second longest shot on the board.

The seven-year-old Speightstown mare rallied five wide from last to just nip 4-5 favorite Dr. Fager’s Gal on the wire in a final time of 1:09.56 for six furlongs on the muddy main track.

Tarty to the Party, ridden by Corey Lanerie, has played musical trainers her entire career and was saddled for this one by Ray Tracy Jr. The dark bay mare was sent off at 12-1 and returned $26.60 while capturing her stakes debut in this spot. She boosted her scorecard to read 41-11-13-3 and now boasts $347,060 in lifetime earnings.

Tarty to the Party was bred in Kentucky by Sun Valley Farm and Robert G. Butzer. She’s out of the Royal Academy mare Tortina, who is a half-sister to Group 2 victress Optimistic Lass, herself the dam of English and French champion Golden Opinion. This female line is also responsible for Grade 1-scoring millionaire and Irish classic heroine Samitar.

Family Tree screenshot from race