Family Tree rolls in Indiana Oaks off short rest
After registering her first stakes victory in the Iowa Oaks (G3), Family Tree came back 16 days later to easily capture the $202,400 Indiana Oaks (G2) on Saturday, powering clear to a three-length decision. The Smart Strike 3-year-old filly completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.46 with Julien Leparoux.
Wayne Catalano trains the chestnut for Mary and Gary West. Family Tree notched her first stakes victory when drawing off to a two-length tally in the Iowa Oaks and has now captured three of her last four starts. She’s earned $426,922 from a 9-4-2-2 record.
Sweet Legacy sped forward to show the way with pressure from Emmzy, recording opening splits in :24.37 and :49.88. Family Tree stalked up close while wide and began to edge closer rounding the far turn.
Emmzy took a short lead into the stretch but proved no match for the oncoming winner, who blew by with a furlong remaining. Off as the 7-5 favorite among eight sophomore fillies, Family Tree rolled home much the best and Emmzy easily held second in her stakes debut for Bob Baffert.
It was a 3 ¼-length gap back to Mines and Magic, who edged Dothraki Queen by a nose for third. Walkabout, Dream Dance, Sweet Legacy and Missalaney completed the order of finish.
Family Tree made all four starts last year for Catalano, breaking her maiden the first-time out on the turf at Kentucky Downs and placing in a pair of listed stakes on the main track. She opened 2016 under the care of Baffert, finishing second in the Plum Pretty at Sunland Downs and recording a win and a second versus Churchill Downs allowance foes before being transferred back to Catalano prior to the Iowa Oaks.
Bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm LLC & Sam-Son Farm, Family Tree is out of the stakes-winning Giant’’s Causeway mare Giant Mover, a daughter of multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Gold Mover. The Wests purchased Family Tree for $225,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale.
The August 20 Alabama (G1) at Saratoga is a possible target for Family Tree.