Mary and Gary West’s Family Tree picked up her second consecutive graded stakes victory July 16 with a handy score in the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Family Tree, by Smart Strike out of the Giant's Causeway mare Giant Mover, rated in fourth for more than a half-mile, made her bid on the far turn, and pulled away to win by three lengths over California shipper Emmzy. Mines and Magic, who was bottled up behind the leaders until the top of the stretch in the 1 1/16-mile Oaks, shook loose too late and closed for third 3 1/4 lengths behind Emmzy and a nose ahead of Dothraki Queen.
Sweet Legacy set fractions of :24.37 for the opening quarter-mile and :49.88 for a half-mile with Emmzy, Family Free, and Mines and Magic not far behind. Emmzy made her bid for the lead past six furlongs in 1:14.62 with Family Tree right behind. Those two broke away from the rest, and it was Family Tree who pulled away to win in 1:44.46 on a track rated fast.
"We had a good post outside of everybody so we took advantage of it," Leparoux said. "She won very easy."
Family Tree two weeks earlier won the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at the same distance.
"They run the Derby and the Preakness two weeks apart, so why not take a shot?" Catalano said. "The race looked liked it would set up nicely for us. She won a grade III and a grade II, so I guess we’ll try for a grade I."
Family Tree, who paid $4.80 to win as the favorite, was bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm and Sam-Son Farm. She was a $225,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase.