Similar to Sally Field at the 1985 Oscars, the crowd assembled at Oaklawn Park on Saturday (36,000 strong) liked Terra Promessa.
In fact, they liked her so much that, as predicted, a negative show pool developed, with $384,739 of the $405,375 pool (94.9 percent) wagered on trainer Steve Asmussen’s charge, who came into the Azeri Stakes (GII) with a perfect 5-for-5 record at the Hot Springs, Arkansas oval.
But 6-for-6 was not to be.
After breaking well, Terra Promessa was wrangled back by jockey Irad Ortiz to sit third as the field of seven made its way into the first turn. She Mabee Wild held a slim lead after a quarter-mile in :23.71 and a half in :47.41.
As that one began to retreat, Streamline forged to the front with Eskenformoney in close pursuit after six furlongs in 1:11.68. At this point, the 1-5 favorite Terra Promessa was still in contention, running a close fourth (just 1 ½ lengths behind the leader), but she seemed uncomfortable under restraint.
Turning for home, Streamline opened up by a length and a half, with Eskenformoney still plugging away in second and Terra Promessa spinning her wheels in fourth, failing to make up any ground on the leaders.
At the wire, it was Streamline by a length, Eskenformoney second by another length over the hard-charging Tiger Moth, with Power of Snunner fourth. Terra Promessa checked in a well-beaten fifth.
Brian Williamson, who trained the winner, said the plan was to take it to the favorite right from the start.
“If you break good, don’t let [Terra Promessa] get loose on the lead,” Williamson says he told his rider, Chris Landeros.
“We broke super. It looked like favorite didn’t break good. It looked like she was kind of boxed in,” he concluded.
“The outside post was kind of in our favor today,” Landeros added. “I thought Irad [Ortiz, the jockey on Terra Promessa] was going to go a little bit with his horse. Terra Promessa had the inside and we took advantage of it. [Streamline] runs hard every time. She deserves a chance every single race — very, very game mare.”
For his part, Ortiz made no excuses.
“She just didn’t show up,” he said of his mount.
The winner completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.67 and returned $26.20 to win, $9.40 to place and $19.60 to show (courtesy of Terra Promessa being off the board). Eskenformoney returned $5.60 and $12.40; Tiger Moth paid a $45.40.
The $1 exacta paid $39.90, the 50-cent trifecta was worth $237.80 and the 10-cent superfecta returned $157.73.