Stonestreet Stables' homebred Terra Promessa made easy work of her seven rivals in the $150,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) Feb. 18 at Oaklawn Park, taking control around the first turn and never looking back.
The 4-year-old daughter of Curlin broke well and immediately went to the lead, galloping easy through a quarter-mile in :23.20 and a half in :47.19 on a fast track. A rank Super Saks and rival Steel Cut attempted to stay close in second and third, but Terra Promessa had already put three lengths between herself and her competition after going six furlongs in 1:11.99 in the 1 1/16-mile test for older fillies and mares.
Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. kept Terra Promessa to task in the stretch, although the rest of the field was no match. The filly crossed the wire 4 3/4 lengths in front with a final time of 1:43.18 for trainer Steve Asmussen.
"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," Santana Jr. said. "I am really happy to be back on that filly."
Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Terra Promessa paid $3, $3, and $2.20 across the board. Power of Snunner paid $15.20 and $6.80, while Streamline was worth $3.20.
"In both of her races this year, she's broke very cleanly and that's where she's been (on the lead)," 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."
The win is the filly's second of the year, and her fifth victory from five total starts at the Arkansas oval. Last month she had another gate-to-wire score when she won the Pippin Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths. In 2016 she took two grade 3 races at Oaklawn, the Honeybee Stakes and the Fantasy Stakes.
Terra Promessa now boasts six wins from nine starts, with earnings of $615,000. The filly was bred in Kentucky and is out of multiple stakes winner Missile Bay (Yes It's True).