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HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017) – Stonestreet Stables, LLC’s Terra Promessa improved her Oaklawn record to a perfect six for six with a dominating victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3). A crowd of 21,000 was on hand to watch the 4-year-old Curlin filly win the 1 1/16-mile race by 4 ¾ lengths over Power of Snunner in a final time of 1:43 over a fast track. She returned $3, $3 and $2.20 as the prohibitive 1-2 favorite.
Ridden confidently by four-time leading rider Ricardo Santana Jr., Terra Promessa took the early lead and never looked back. She held a comfortable margin through moderate fractions of :23 1/5 and :47 for the first half mile and then began to widen her advantage through the stretch. Power of Snunner, who had come from near the back of the field, finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of third-place finisher Streamline.
“In both of her races this year, she’s broke very cleanly and that’s where she’s been (on the lead),” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “Me and Ricardo talked in the paddock about her confidence level and just to ride the race like a work, wherever that put her. We were concerned with some of the speed in the race, but didn’t want it to affect her. I thought Ricardo did a great job just riding her and not worrying about what they did.”
Terra Promessa improved her career record to six wins from nine starts and has now earned $615,600. The Bayaka was her fourth Oaklawn Stakes victory following the 2016 Honeybee (G3) and Fantasy (G3) Stakes and more recently, the Pippin Stakes Jan. 14.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. There will also be a special Presidents’ Day card Monday that begins at 1 p.m. The 10-race holiday program is highlighted by the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) and $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby aspirations.
Winning trainer Steve Asmussen, Terra Promessa – “In both of her races this year, she’s broke very cleanly and that’s where she’s been (on the lead). Me and Ricardo talked in the paddock about her confidence level and just to ride the race like a work, wherever that put her. We were concerned with some of the speed in the race, but didn’t want it to affect her. I thought Ricardo did a great job just riding her and not worrying about what they did.”
Winner Ricardo Santana Jr., Terra Promessa – “I am really happy to be back on that filly. She is one of my best fillies and favorites. I am really happy to get a win aboard her again. Thank you to Steve (Asmussen) and the connections for the opportunity. She is a really nice filly, and been doing well in the mornings.”
Did you expect to make the lead today?
“Yeah, she was doing well and I knew if I was on the lead by myself with no one pushing me that I should have a good chance because she is the type of filly that can run all day. She showed her class today.”
Chris Emigh, aboard runner-up Power of Snunner – “She ran huge. Mr. Sharp told me this filly was training very well. He just got this horse not long ago and he said “She is going to run big” so be confident. And she did. I thought I might catch the winner, but she was a little too much horse and took off. My filly ran a good race.” (Oaklawn Park)
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