Nancy A. Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds' consistent Streamline—never worse than third in Oaklawn Park’s last 10 two-turn stakes races for older fillies and mares—reaffirmed her affinity for the Arkansas oval Feb. 17 with a closing victory in the $150,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3).
The Illinois-bred daughter of Straight Line, a 2012 model trained by Brian Williamson, came off a third in the Jan. 13 Pippin Stakes, a race in which she ran third in 2017 as well after winning the 2016 edition. Multiple graded stakes winner Farrell was victorious in this year's running and entered the Bayakoa favored in a field of six, but ran into her old nemesis in a sloppy, sealed track, and was eased under regular rider Channing Hill.
With Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens in the irons, Streamline brought up the rear early as Defy showed the way through fractions of :22.90 and :46.61 for the first half-mile. Terra Promessa, winner of the 2017 Bayakoa and fifth off the layoff in this year's Pippin, gained control before six furlongs in 1:12.82 after tracking the early pace, but had to settle for second. The winner came four-wide into the stretch, grabbed the lead, and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:47.22.
"She was really touting me in the post parade," Stevens said. "I mean, she was on her game today. She had a race underneath her. Brian seemed quietly confident in the paddock. She was making me confident. Then, my hand was kind of forced on me. I had planned to attack Farrell early on and she broke sharp, but Farrell kind of got shuffled back in my face.
"My mare settled for me and was just dragging me around there. I actually made the lead about an eighth of a mile too early with her, though. She fought it out. But she's got more in the tank, believe me. She is just an old pro, a pleasure to ride and a lot of fun."
Steamline, a 6-year-old homebred out of the Sahm mare Love Handles, improved her overall record to 21-8-3-9 and has now earned $793,166, with a 10-3-2-5 record at Oaklawn. She returned $8.40, $3.80, and $2.60 at odds of 3-1.
"She's really super easygoing (around the barn), but then when she trains, when you turn her around to gallop, she's game," Williamson said. "When a horse comes by her, she tries to go with them. She's just competitive like that."
Farrell ran similarly in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), when she finished last of 14 on a sloppy, sealed track, but she also broke her maiden in October of 2016 on a wet fast track.
"She was training good on it all week and I thought she would handle it," trainer Wayne Catalano said. "But today was just like the (Kentucky) Oaks. She's proven she doesn't like this kind of track. She's fine. Channing took care of her."