Overture winning the Indiana Oaks

Overture winning the Indiana Oaks

John Engelhardt

Overture Plays the Field in Indiana Oaks

The daughter of Congrats earned a gate-to-wire win in her first graded try.

Left alone on the front end to walk through fractions as she pleased, Overture made sure her rivals paid the price during the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3) as she recorded a gate-to-wire, one-length victory at Indiana Grand Race Course July 15. 

Video: Indiana Oaks (G3)

Where a majority of the focus in the eight-horse Indiana Oaks field landed on stakes winner and California invader Mopotism—sent off as the 11-10 favorite—Overture made sure every eye was trained on her throughout the 1 1/16-miles test. The daughter of Congrats  took control straight away from post 1 and, to the surprise of jockey Julien Leparoux, had none of the expected early speed join her as she rolled through an opening quarter in :24.68 and a leisurely half-mile in :49.63 with longshot I'mluckysgirl tracking about a length back in second.

"It looked like there were a couple of other speed (horses) in the race. So I wanted to break good and put her in the race and see what they were doing," said Leparoux, who celebrated his 34th birthday Saturday. "They left me in front pretty easy so I was happy. She was doing it pretty nicely; in a good rhythm. At the three-eighths pole I started asking her a little bit, and she kept on nice until the end.

"I didn't think I was even going to be on the lead. But they gave it to me, and I took it."

There was little chance Overture was giving anything up in the stretch after her easy half-mile.

Majestic Quality advanced three-wide around the final turn after rating in third down the backstretch and appeared to have the pacesetter measured coming into the lane. WinStar Farm's filly had plenty more to answer back with, however, hitting the wire in 1:43.79 (a final sixteenth in :06.12) over a fast track to earn her second win in five starts and first graded triumph.

"It's fantastic. Her running lines over her last couple of races have been very good," said Sean Tugel, director of bloodstock for WinStar Farm. "The filly that beat her last time out (Unchained Melody) came back and won the Mother Goose (G2) last week. She's a filly we thought would really appreciate the two turns, and we got her out of New York which was a one-turn mile and a sixteenth.

 "She was real classy in the paddock, and really classy in the post parade and she showed her class here.; she's a very nice filly."

Mopotism came with her move while wide heading into the lane and gamely closed to get second while Majestic Quality flattened out a bit in finishing third. Awestruck was fourth with Dutch Parrot rounding out the top five.

Sent off at 12-1, Overture paid $27.20, $8.20, and $5 across the board. 

Unraced at 2, Overture posted a runner-up finish in her debut going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park Feb. 22 and broke her maiden at second asking April 5 at Gulfstream at seven furlongs. While she was well beaten in an allowance optional claiming test behind Unchained Melody and graded stakes placed Jamyson 'n Ginger  at Belmont Park June 1, the class of the top two that day suggested the Bill Mott-trained filly could handle the next step.

"She looked fantastic down the lane tonight and maybe it's on to bigger and better things, hopefully," Tugel said. 

Bred in Florida by Hickstead Farm, Overture was purchased by WinStar for $385,000 out of the Wavertree Stable consignment  at the 2016 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March 2-year-olds in training sale. She is out of the Toccet mare Toccet Over and improved her earnings to $169,080.