HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017) – A return to Hot Springs brought Terra Promessa back to her winning ways as she scored a front-running victory in Saturday’s $125,000 Pippin Stakes in front of 16,000 on-track fans. The four-year-old Curlin filly, winner of last year’s Honeybee (G3) and Fantasy (G3) Stakes, is now a perfect four-for-four at Oaklawn.
With the nation’s 2016 leading rider, Jose Ortiz, in the saddle, Terra Promessa broke sharply and secured the lead a few strides into the race, a position she never relinquished. The four-year-old filly proceeded through uncontested fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 3/5 for the first half mile. Ready to Confess, the runner-up, made a mild bid at the winner, but was no match for the 6-5 favorite, who proceeded to draw off to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Her winning time was 1:43 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track.
Streamline, the defending Pippin winner, finished third. She was followed by Ruby Sioux, Miss Mo Kelly and She Mabee Wild.
“We’re just happy to have the filly back here at Oaklawn,” winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. “She obviously has an affinity for the surface here. She trained nicely over it once we got her back here and it’s just nice to have her back in the winner’s circle. This is a filly that’s four for four here.”
Terra Promessa improved her record to five wins from eight starts and has now earned $525,600. She returned $4.60, $3.60 and $2.60 as the favorite.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. There is also a special Monday card featuring the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and a free Oaklawn cap giveaway. First post Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is 1 p.m.
Winning trainer Steve Asmussen, Terra Promessa – “We’re just happy to have the filly back here at Oaklawn. She obviously has an affinity for the surface here. She trained nicely over it once we got her back here and it’s just nice to have her back in the winner’s circle. This is a filly that’s four for four here. I’ll talk to her owners and we’ll see (about the Bayakoa Stakes Feb. 18).”
Winning Jockey Jose Ortiz,Terra Promessa – “Steve just told me to get her to relax and not fight her. Going into the first turn, I was looking to see what the one (Streamline) was going to do. He (jockey Chris Landeros) took back, so I went on and took the lead. When I asked her, she responded really well. It was a great training job by Steve (Asmussen) as always. I’m just glad I’m here at Oaklawn and I got on the filly. It’s great here, lots of people, which is great for racing.”
Jockey Joe Rocco Jr., second aboard Ready to Confess – “My filly tried really hard. I was able to get fence and save all the ground. The winner is a nice horse and it was going to take every edge to beat her. That filly was just the best today.”