Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, March 12, 2016) – Trainer Steve Asmussen had the exacta in Saturday’s $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3), but it wasn’t the way the betting public had predicted with Stonestreet Stables’ Terra Promessa, the 4-1 second choice, running away from 4-5 favorite Nickname to win by 6 ½ lengths over a muddy track.
Terra Promessa settled into fourth place while Cosmic Evolution set the early pace with Nickname in close pursuit. The top duo maintained their position through fractions of :23 1/5, :47 and 1:12 4/5 for the first six furlongs, but proved no match for the winner, who took over at the top of the stretch and never looked back. The final time was 1:47 for 1 1/16 miles over a muddy track.
“She’s a really nice filly,” said winning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., who rode five winners on Saturday’s nine-race card. “She always tries when she runs. I’m highly confident with this filly when she runs. She relaxed nicely and when I asked her to run, she did. I can’t say enough great things about her.”
Cosmic Evolution held third and was followed by Dorodansa, She’s a Booty and Marquee Miss.
The top four fillies all earned points towards eligibility for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 6 with Terra Promessa receiving 50 points, which places her fifth on the list of 14 potential starters. Nickname now has 36 points after receiving 20 points for second and is seventh on the list. Cosmic Evolution earned 10 points and is now 22nd and Dorodansa has seven points after also finishing third in the Martha Washington Stakes. She is ranked 25th. Martha Washington winner Marquee Miss is ranked 18th with 10 points. The final race to earn points for the Oaks at Oaklawn is the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9.
Terra Promessa, a homebred daughter of 2007 Arkansas Derby winner Curlin, has now won three of her last four races and has now earned $140,600. She returned $8, $3.60 and $3.
Live racing at Oaklawn resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post.
Winning trainer Steve Asmussen – “The way the races have been playing the last few days, I think her natural style played very favorably for today.”
“I think Terra Promessa has benefited from being here. Horses that excel here – she’s found new life. She’s come along awfully nicely. Her being a Curlin filly makes it very special for myself. Having Curlin have another graded stakes winner is very exciting.”
Hopes to aim Terra Promessa for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9 at Oaklawn.
Winning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. – “She’s a really nice filly. She always tries when she runs. I’m highly confident with this filly when she runs. She relaxed nicely and when I asked her to run, she did. I can’t say enough great things about her.”
Jockey Corey Nakatani, second aboard Nickname – “We were pretty much where we wanted to be. She’s a real long, rangy filly and with it an off track, it was hard for her. I was in a great spot. The other filly was just a little better than her today. But, my filly seems to be getting better with each race.”
Jockey Calvin Borel, third aboard Cosmic Evolution – “She broke real quick. It was where I wanted to be, but the track was heavy today. She ran good. I’m really happy with her. It was her first time around two turns.”
Trainer Lon Wiggins, third with Cosmic Evolution – “She ran well, just a little short and didn’t relax too good. I think she’ll do better next time. I’m not sure she can run with those horses, but think she’ll do better. We are proud of her today.”
Source: Oaklawn Park