07/14/2016 2:16PM

Family Tree back on short rest in Indiana Oaks

Coady Photography
Family Tree wins the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks on June 30 at Prairie Meadows.

How soon is too soon? That’s what the connections of Family Tree will find out Saturday night in the Grade 2, $200,000 Indiana Oaks at Indiana Grand.

Family Tree just ran the best race of her career in winning the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks, but that race was scarcely more than two weeks ago, and Family Tree returns on short rest at morning-line odds of just 7-5.

“We entered, and we’re running,” said Wayne Catalano, who trains Family Tree for Gary and Mary West. “She came out of that last race extremely well.”

The Oaks, run over 1 1/16 miles on dirt, goes as the eighth race at 9:11 p.m. Eastern.


Mines and Magic, by Mineshaft
Last 3 Beyers: 80-78-80

◗ Came from a mile back to finish fourth behind Airoforce in a Kentucky Downs turf sprint, her lone start at 2. Has a good, closing second at Keeneland and a pair of wins at Churchill since returning to the races this year.

“She got a bad infection in her hock out of her debut, and that’s why she needed time,” trainer Vicki Oliver said. “She hasn’t done much wrong since.”

◗ Settled and finished in her maiden win two starts ago but last time was on a strong early pace due to her rail draw. This marks her first two-turn try, and Mines and Magic is bred to love it. Her sire, Mineshaft, won the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, and her dam raced effectively at 1 1/2 miles.

“She’s very relaxed, very kind,” Oliver said. “I don’t think she’ll have any problem with that.”

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Dream Dance, by Afleet Alex
Last 3 Beyers: 83-84-75

◗ Third behind Family Tree when last seen May 28 but was running back about three weeks after the Kentucky Oaks and might not have been at her best.

◗ Her top race this year, a second to Land Over Sea in the Fair Grounds Oaks, might be good enough to win this.

“We were toying with the Delaware Oaks but decided to stay closer to home,” trainer Neil Howard said. “She’s doing really, really well right now.”

Family Tree, by Smart Strike
Last 3 Beyers: 87-85-85

◗ Her participation in this race was sealed after a bullet half-mile work Monday at Keeneland.

“She worked extremely well,” Catalano said.

◗ Appears to be better suited to racing with a target in front of her; twice she has been run down on the lead.

◗ With Florent Geroux riding in Delaware, Julien Leparoux picks up the mount.

Emmzy, by Eskendereya
Last 3 Beyers: 82-81-65

◗ Was a five-race maiden before trainer Bob Baffert finally stretched her out, and now the filly has won two in a row.

“It was so disappointing when I was running her short,” Baffert said. “I kept thinking she couldn’t get beat.”

◗ Was ridden out to victory last time but has gotten perfect trips in her two wins. Doesn’t have the easiest way of going, could struggle to adapt to a quicker pace, and, like Family Tree, looms an underlay.