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Tree of Life Wins Barretts Juvenile

September 17, 2012 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

Tree of Life’s win in Sunday’s $100,000 Barretts Juvenile at Fairplex kept him undefeated and marked the fourth juvenile victory for West Point Thoroughbreds this year. This year’s 2-year-olds are winning at a 33% clip and hitting the board at 50%.

A son of Lion Heart, Tree of Life broke just a bit slow, but quickly rebounded and settled in stride. In between horses around the first turn, Tree of Life found himself only two and a half lengths off the leader down the backside. Aaron Gryder called on him on the turn, and he responded, engaging the the frontrunners before gaining the lead at the eighth pole and kicking clear.


“He broke a little slow, but did everything else professionally,” said trainer Craig Dollase. “He’s still learning the game and I think there’s even more in the tank. Aaron gave him a great ride and got him engaged in the race. We talked in the paddock and agreed that in a bullring like this, he couldn’t be too far off the pace allowing a frontrunner to steal it. The final time wasn’t fantastic, but our colt did it the right way. Dirt, synthetic, turf- this horse acts like he can handle it all.”

“I love the fact that we were able to get two-turn experience under his belt before heading to a graded stake,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “This is a shifty horse who is light on his feet.”

Happy Partners joined team Dollase, Tree of Life, and jockey Aaron Gryder in the winner’s circle. Click here to see photos of WPT Partners holding the race trophy after the win.

Tree of Life could make his next start in the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) going 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack on Saturday, October 6 at Keeneland.