Family Way Makes the Grade in $150,000 Orchid (G3)
First of 10 Stakes Worth $2.2M on Florida Derby (G1) Card
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Hunter Valley Farm, Debra O’Connor and Marc Detampel’s Family Way, outfinished when second in last month’s The Very One (G3) in her prior start, swept to the lead on the far outside and passed her rivals through the stretch to become a graded-stakes winner in Saturday’s $150,000 Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The 58th running of the 1 ½-mile Orchid for fillies and mares 4 and up was the first of 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.2 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race program anchored by the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa.
Rather than press the pace as she did in the 1 3/8-mile The Very One March 5, Family Way ($5.60) settled near the back of a six-horse field under patient handling from Tyler Gaffalione as 16-1 long shot Champagne Ivy led the way through the opening quarter-mile.
Scarabea, fourth by a half-length in the 1 ½-mile La Prevoyante (G3) Jan. 29 at Gulfstream, was eager to go after running third early on and found herself on the lead approaching the stretch for the first time tracked by Champagne Ivy with Harajuku saving ground on the rail and Beautiful Lover in the clear three wide.
The order stayed that way until they straightened for home and Gaffalione set Family Way down for a drive to the wire, forging a short lead past the eighth pole and drawing clear to win by 1 ¾ lengths in 2:29.08. Harajuku held second over Beautiful Lover, followed by Sister Otoole, Scarabea and Champagne Ivy.
Family Way is a 5-year-old daughter of champion Uncle Mo who made her first three starts in France in the fall of 2020 before coming to the U.S. She won the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon last September, and came up a length short of Virginia Joy in the The Very One.
$150,000 Orchid (G3) Quotes
Winning trainer Brendan Walsh (Family Way): “She got a good trip. A nice short field. Tyler [Gaffalione] said she settled fantastic when she got the cover. She didn’t get cover last time, and we wanted ideally to have her get cover, and she did. When he tipped her out, she took off. I think she’s getting better actually. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of her yet.”
Winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Family Way): “Today the main thing we wanted to focus on was getting her cover. Last time, she was just doing a little too much too early. We wanted to get her back there, try to get her to turn off, so that way we could have more of a finish. And she did exactly that. The main thing with her is you've got to get her covered. The European fillies, they turn off when they get the cover, and like you saw today, she relaxed beautifully, and when I took her out, she finished up well.”