In Tune outfights House Rules to win the Gulfstream Oaks.
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In Tune outfights House Rules to win the Gulfstream Oaks.
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Coglianese Photos

In Tune in Rhythm in Gulfstream Oaks Win

Undefeated filly will be pointed to the Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

In Tune proved up to the challenge of stepping into stakes company as she outlasted House Rules in the stretch to win the $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks (gr. II) March 29 at Gulfstream Park (VIDEO).

Alain and Gerard Wertheimer's homebred In Tune improved to three wins in three starts, all at Gulfstream. The daughter of Unbridled's Song held off House Rules and Alex Solis in a stretch-long battle to post a neck victory as the even-money choice in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. 

Under Javier Castellano, In Tune punched her ticket to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) as she was awarded 100 points in the qualifying system for that Churchill Downs race. After Saturday's race winning trainer Todd Pletcher said In Tune has handled each step up in class and stretch out in distance and will be pointed to the Kentucky Oaks, assuming she comes out of the race in good order.

"It's rare that you have one come along this quickly, a short maiden to a long 'allowance-other than' to a graded stakes," Pletcher said. "She stepped up in class and distance each time and passed every test, so I'm very proud of her. She showed a lot of courage down the lane."

Pletcher has captured four of the past five Gulstream Oaks following Dreaming of Julia last year and winning back-to-back in 2010 with Devil May Care and in 2011 with R Heat Lightning.

Joseph Shields Jr.'s House Rules settled for second place to an undefeated filly trained by Pletcher for a second straight time. The daughter of Distorted Humor  was runner-up in the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) to Onlyforyou, who suffered a fatal breakdown while training after that effort.

In Tune completed the Gulfstream Oaks in 1:50.19 on a fast track. It was 2 3/4 lengths back to third-place finisher America, a Bobby Flay homebred who secured her first stakes placing.

The winner returned $4, $2.80, $2.20. House Rules paid $4.20 to place and $2.80 to show, while America returned $3.60 to show.

In Tune is the third stakes winner for the Affirmed mare Wichitoz, who also has produced Affirmatif and Chitoz.