When races don’t go according to script, upsets happen, and that is exactly what happened in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park. When Terra Promessa did not make the lead, Streamline took advantage of the situation, and took the winner’s check to the bank.
At the break, She Mabee Wild and Streamline were quicker out of the gate than Terra Promessa and wasted no time in trapping that one along the rail as Power of Snunner and Eskenformoney moved up to her outside. The crowding caused Terra Promessa to turn her head toward the inside, then she ran up the heels of She Mabee Wild before being taken back further. Miss Mo Kelly was another two lengths off the leading pack with Tiger Moth as the trailer.
Down the backstretch, She Mabee Wild continued to lead the way with Streamline glued to her outside flank. Terra Promessa continued to search for racing room along the rail while Eskenformoney received a good outside trip. Power of Snunner had dropped back off of those four and was followed still by Miss Mo Kelly and Tiger Moth.
The pace was sensible. The opening quarter went in :23.71, and the half was put up in :47.41.
Into the far turn, She Mabee Wild, Streamline and Eskenformoney lined up three abreast with Power of Snunner moving back into contention and blocking Terra Promessa from getting to the outside. As they wheeled for home, She Mabee Wild began to drop off the pace, leaving Streamline alone on the lead. Eskenformoney was second while Power of Snunner continued to prevent Terra Promessa from finding any racing room.
Inside the final sixteenth, Streamline continued on clear to the wire with Eskenformoney trying but failing to get to her. From the back of the field, Tiger Moth rallied to steal third from Power of Snunner. Terra Promessa was fifth, Miss Mo Kelly was sixth, and She Mabee Wild faded to be seventh and last. The winning time for the 1 1/16 was 1:43.67.
Winning jockey Chris Landeros was quite happy with how the race played out. “I had a great trip. The outside post was kind of in our favor today. I thought Irad was going to go a little bit with his horse. Terra Promessa had the inside and we took advantage of it.”
“She runs hard every time,” Landeros continued. “She deserves a chance every single race. She’s little but she’s so game. Very, very game mare.”
“Had a good trip, but that’s where I expected to be. I didn’t want to be too far out of it today,” stated Javier Castellano, who was aboard runner-up Eskenformoney. “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.”
As for Terra Promessa, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. stated that the filly simply didn’t show up.
For the win, Streamline paid $26.20, $9.40, and $19.60 off 12-1 odds and a negative show pool. South Florida invader Eskenformoney, tabbed at 4-1, returned $5.60 and $12.40 for the place, and 32-1 longshot Tiger Moth returned $45.40 for the show. The $1 exacta paid $39.90, the $0.50 trifecta returned $237.80, and the $0.10 superfecta was worth $157.73.
By Straight Line and out of the Sahm mare Love Handles, Streamline is owned by Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds V LLC. The mare is a homebred for Vanier. Prior to today, Streamline had been multiple graded stakes placed, but today’s Azeri victory was her first career graded stakes victory. She has now improved her record to 17: 7-3-6 for total earnings of $601,566.
Winning trainer Brian Williamson said afterwards, “’Break good and don’t let the favorite get loose on the lead’ were my instructions. She broke great. Looked like the favorite didn’t break as good and was kind of boxed in. I thought Chris rode her great.”
Williamson continued on, indicating future plans, “If she comes back good and checks out good, we’re definitely running in the Apple Blossom (Grade 1, $600,000, April 14).”
Third place finisher Tiger Moth may also be back for the Apple Blossom.