Family Tree rolls in Indiana Oaks off short rest

Profile Picture: James Scully

July 17th, 2016

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.