Youngest Daughter upsets in $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes

Less than a week after finishing second in the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby with Colonelsdarktemper, Jockey Jon Court shipped back to Indiana Grand Thursday, July 20 and picked up two wins on the card, including the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes. Youngest Daughter, trained by Victoria Oliver, rallied nearly gate to wire for the win in the one mile race over the turf.


Jon Court and Youngest Daughter hold on as the late closers rally home in the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes Thursday, July 20. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Queen Del Valle and Edgard Zayas were the first to emerge from the starting gate and grab the lead, but their time at the top was limited. By the time the bulky field of 12 had passed the finish line for the first time, it was Youngest Daughter and Court who had shot up the middle of the track to take over the pace setting role.

 “I wasn’t expecting the lead today,” said Court. “I’ve watched enough of her races and she doesn’t have to be on the lead, but I chirped to her and she took off. She definitely brought her “A” game today. Even in the post parade I didn’t want to warm her up too much because I could tell Victoria (Oliver) had her ready to go.”

 Court was able to get Youngest Daughter to relax around the turn and down the backstretch to keep her fresh for the latter part of the race as Tap It All and Brian Hernandez Jr. sat just to their outside in stalking position. Queen Del Valle maintained early positioning but was gapping along the inside in third before beginning her move toward the leaders heading into the final turn.


Jon Schuster, VP and GM of racing at Indiana Grand and Kevin Greely, director of racing, step into the winner’s circle photo for Youngest Daughter, winner of the 2017 Ta Wee Stakes Thursday, July 20. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The final turn of the Ta Wee Stakes looked like a traffic jam. Horses were attacking Youngest Daughter from the back and were bunched up with intentions of overtaking the leader at the top of the stretch. However, that scenario never played out. Court was able to scoot Youngest Daughter off the turn and into a clear lead heading down the stretch, making it more difficult for the late closers to catch up. The field was closing in late, but Youngest Daughter had just enough left to fend them off, winning by a neck in a time of 1:36.41 over Fault and Miguel Mena. Lovely Bernadette and Chris Landeros landed in the third spot of the race.

 “I knew there were some closers in this race, so I wanted to get a jump on them,” added Court. “I know this filly has some talent and she showed it today. Congratulations to Victoria and Mr. (Watts) Humphrey on their win today and I thank them for the opportunity to ride her.”


Jon Court accepts the trophy on behalf of Owner G. Watts Humphrey for his win with Youngest Daughter in the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes. Kevin Greely, director of racing (left( and Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing (right) present the trophy to Court. (Photo by Linscott Photography

Youngest Daughter earned her third career win and her second consecutive trip to the winner’s circle with Court aboard. The three-year-old daughter of The Factor was the second longest shot on the board, paying $104.60, $35.40 and $12.60 across the board. The Kentucky bred filly, partially bred by Owner G. Watts Humphrey and trainer Victoria Oliver, increased her career bankroll to more than $167,000 with the win, her first stakes victory.

 It was the first trip to Indiana for Youngest Daughter, who is now three for 11 lifetime. Indiana Grand was her sixth racetrack she had visited and regardless of the track, she has proven herself to favor the turf.

 Court was also victorious earlier in the card aboard Express Win in a $34,000 Two-Year-Old Maiden. It was only the second start for the Unbridled Express Indiana home bred owned by Trainer Bernie Flint’s LTB Inc.