Winless in two stakes starts outside of Arkansas entering the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3) at Pimlico Race Course Friday, the 4-year-old Curlin filly humbled six challengers in the 1 1/8-mile test with a gate-to-wire victory.
Although she drifted out into the middle of the track in the stretch, the rest of the field toiled behind and Terra Promessa hit the wire 7 1/2 lengths ahead of grade 3 winner Carrumba. Another 2 1/4 lengths back came last-out Top Flight Handicap (G3) winner Mo' Green in third. Watch Video
"I tried to go after her and put the pressure on a little bit," said Carrumba's jockey, Javier Castellano. "When I got closer, (the winner) re-upped again and took off. I couldn't keep up."
Terra Promessa broke well from post 4 and hit the front without any asking from jockey Jose Ortiz. She crossed over to the rail just before the turn and clicked off fractions of :23.80, :47.13, and 1:10.91 through six furlongs, unchallenged and three lengths ahead of the rest.
"I was more than happy to be in front early," Ortiz said. "I didn't think anybody was going to go with her."
Ortiz loosened the reins turning for home and Terra Promessa increased her advantage. She held an eight-length lead through a mile in 1:35.67 and finished off the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.12.
The victory was Terra Promessa's fifth stakes win, following the 2017 Bayakoa (G3) and Pippin, and the Honeybee (G3) and Fantasy (G3) in 2016. She also ran second to champion Stellar Wind last time out in the April 14 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), also at Oaklawn.
"Obviously she's better now than she's ever been," said winning trainer Steve Asmussen. "Her last race against Stellar Wind was her fastest. For her to respond like this, after such a demanding race, speaks volumes to her personality and durability."
The winner paid $4.20, $2.80, and $2.20 across the board as the even-money favorite. Carrumba brought $3.40 and $2.60, while Mo' Green delivered $2.60 to show.
Bred in Kentucky, out of the Yes It's True mare Missile Bay, Terra Promessa now has a 7-1-1 record from 12 starts with $836,100 in earnings.