Gary and Mary West’s sophomore filly Family Tree won the G3 Iowa Oaks just over two weeks ago, but that didn’t stop her from storming home the three-length victor in Saturday’s G2 Indiana Oaks at Indiana Grand. The daughter of Smart Strike covered 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:44.46 for trainer Wayne Catalano under the guidance of jockey Julien Leparoux.
Longshot Sweet Legacy jumped out of the gates on top of the eight-filly field to take an easy lead, but she was pressured immediately by the Bob Baffert shipper Emmzy on her outside. Leparoux and Family Tree kept a close eye on those proceedings from third, maintaining clear sailing along the outside while never more than a length off the leader. Mines and Magic was tucked in along the rail beside those three, a bit rank while blocked behind the leaders while chasing fractions of :24.37 and :49.88.
As Emmzy made her move to take over the lead on the far turn, Leparoux simply kept Family Tree to task alongside her. Approaching the straightaway, Family Tree exploded past her west coast rival and floated home under a hand ride, crossing the wire three lengths in front of Emmzy. Mines and Magic was able to get up for third, and Dothraki Queen closed from the rear of the field to be fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm and Sam-Son Farm, Family Tree was a $ 225,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September Sale. The Indiana Oaks is her second graded victory, and her fourth overall from nine career starts. She boasts career earnings of nearly $ 430,000.
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