HOT SPRINGS, AR – The third time was the charm for Streamline, as she finally turned the tables on rival and favored Terra Promessa in the 31st running of the Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.
Sent off at 13-1 by an enthusiastic Rebel Stakes Day crowd of more than 36,000, the 5-year-old Streamline sat off the pace set by She Mabee Wild up the backstretch while steadily advancing, then took over as the field of older fillies and mares turned for home. Trained by Brian Williamson and ridden confidently by Chris Landeros, she increased her position with an eighth of a mile to go and then kicked clear to cross the wire in 1:43:67 over the fast 1 1/6 mile track.
StarLadies Racing’s Eskenformoney, conditioned by Todd Pletcher with Javier Castellano in the irons, tried to catch the winner in the lane, but the 7-2 second choice in the wagering was forced to settle for second by one length. The Brad Cox-trained Tiger Moth, dispatched at 31-1, was another half-length behind. Power of Snunner, Terra Promessa, Miss Mo Kelly, and She Mabee Wild rounded out the order.
Stonestreet Stables’ multiple graded stakes winner Terra Promessa entered the Azeri undefeated in five prior tries at her home track, including winning the Pippin Stakes and Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes in both of her 2017 efforts, and she had never before been beaten at this distance. But the Steve Asmussen-conditioned 4-year-old daughter of Curlin, who was dispatched at 1-5, encountered a troubled trip under Irad Ortiz, Jr., and could fare no better than fifth.
“She just didn’t show up,” said a disappointed Ortiz
Streamline, who was third behind Terra Promessa in both the Pippin and the Bayakoa earlier in the season, is now a two-time Oaklawn stakes winner after capturing the 2016 Pippin. The daughter of Straight Line, who was bred in Illinois by Nancy Vanier and is owned by Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds, has now won seven of 17 lifetime starts, finishing in the money in 16 of those 17 efforts.
“Break good and don’t let the favorite get loose on the lead” was what Williamson instructed his rider. “She broke great. It looked like the favorite didn’t break as good and was kind of boxed in. I thought Chris rode her great.
“I had a great trip,” said Landeros. “The outside post was kind of in our favor today. I through Irad was going to go a little bit with his horse. Terra Promessa had the inside and we took advantage of it. My horse runs hard every time. She deserves a chance every single race. She’s little, but she’s so game. She’s very, very game.”
The always consistent Streamline increased her bankroll to $601,566, and Williamson said that if all goes well from here, the Grade 1 Apple Blossom here on April 14 is her next target.
Streamline returned $26.20, $9.40, and $19.60. Eskenformoney brought back $5.60 and $12.40, while Tiger Moth paid $45.40 to show.
Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri Stakes Quotes
Trainer Brian Williamson, Streamline – “If she comes back good and checks out good, we’re definitely running in the Apple Blossom.”
Jockey Chris Landeros, Streamline – “I just knew she’d give me 110 percent every time. She’s so honest every race”
Jockey Javier Castellano, Eskenformoney – “Had a good trip, but that’s where I expected to be. I didn’t want to be too far out of it today. With that kind of horse, you have to be involved in the race, and she did. She gave me good run and the speed carried all the way. I thought the horse was going to come back to me a little bit. I give credit to the winner. I believed I am second-best today because the winner never came back to me. Every time I asked my horse, she responded very well, we were just second-best today. I am very proud for the filly and the way she ran.”
Trainer Brad Cox, Tiger Moth – “It was good. I was very happy with it. Jose (Ortiz) did a good job letting her settle into the race. Finished up well. We’ll see what happens out of this, maybe go the Apple Blossom.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz, Tiger Moth – “She ran very well. Set up nice for me and going into the first turn she relaxed well. She made a run turning for home and she was coming on late. She was rallying on late in the race and it was a good race for her.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen, Terra Promessa: – “That was a debacle. You’ve got to get along with her, you just do. Can’t fight with her. She knows who she wants to be, and that was not good.”
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Terra Promessa – “She just didn’t show up.”