There has rarely been a moment in Streamline's career when the daughter of Straight Line didn't give a thoroughly honest account of herself. But as the 5-year-old mare turned into the stretch of the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, she transformed from distaffer that always held her own to one that could hold strong when graded stakes accolades were on the line.
Hitting the board in five prior graded stakes tries, Streamline finally got the job done at the next level March 18. Under crafty handling from jockey Chris Landeros, the dark bay mare scored a one-length win over Eskenformoney while 1-5 favorite Terra Promessa ran fifth after a troubled trip in what was her first loss in six starts at Oaklawn.
Consistency has been Streamline's hallmark since she broke her maiden at first asking at Arlington Park in July 2015. She's only been worse than third once in her 16 starts heading into Saturday and delivered such admirable efforts as her runner-up finish to Forever Unbridled in last year's Apple Blossom Handicap (G1).
Streamline's first stakes win came when she took the 2016 Pippin Stakes at odds of 15-1 over the Oaklawn surface. Dismissed at 12-1 odds off her third-place finish to Terra Promessa in the Feb. 18 Bayakoa Stakes (G3), Streamline recorded another breakthrough stunner in the Azeri when she rated second on the outside, just a neck off of pacesetter She Mabee Wild through fractions of :23.71 and :47.41 for a half-mile, before taking command coming off the final turn.
"We broke super and it looked like the favorite (Terra Promessa) didn't break quite as good. But Chris rode her great," said winning trainer Brian Williamson, who conditions Streamline for his mother-in-law Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds. "He kind of made sure he kept (Terra Promessa) in the pocket. It was a great day. If she comes back good, we're definitely running (in the Apple Blossom)."
While Streamline was getting an ideal trip, Terra Promessa was battling trouble from the start. Breaking from post 2 under Irad Ortiz Jr., the Stonestreet Stables homebred was never able to use her early speed as she was taken back to third going into the first turn, steadied sharply to keep from running up on rivals, and got boxed in again on the far turn before throwing in the towel in the lane.
"She just didn't show up," Ortiz said.
Added Steve Asmussen, trainer of Terra Promessa, "That was a debacle. You've got to get along with her, you just do. Can't fight with her. She knows who she wants to be, and that was not good."
Streamline had no such issues as she came into the stretch with a 1 1/2-length advantage, hitting the wire in 1:43.67 over a track rated fast.
"She runs hard every time. She deserves a chance every single race," Landeros said of his mount. "She's little but she's so game. I just knew she'd give me 110% every time. She's so honest every race."
Bred in Illinois by Vanier, Streamline paid $26.20, $9.40, and $19.60 across the board. She improved her record to seven wins from 17 starts with $601,566 in earnings.