Streamline surprises in Azeri

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Streamline reached graded winner status on Saturday, when she upset 1-5 favorite Terra Promessa in the Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri at Oaklawn. She won by a length over Eskenformoney, while it was another half-length back in third to Tiger Moth.

Terra Promessa, who appeared to be under restraint for a good portion of the race while in tight behind horses along the rail, finished fifth in what was her first defeat at Oaklawn in six starts at the track. Of her wins, four had come in stakes, including this year's Pippin and Grade 3 Bayakoa.

The Azeri serves as the final local stepping-stone to the Grade 1, $600,000 Apple Blossom on April 14 and winning trainer Brian Williamson said that is a goal for Streamline. She ran second in last year's Apple Blossom.

Streamline ($26.20) was with the pace in the Azeri, racing alongside She Mabee Wild through an opening quarter-mile in 23.71 seconds and the half-mile in 47.41. Streamline took the lead through six furlongs in 1:11.68 and increased her advantage into the stretch while covering 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.67.

Chris Landeros was aboard, and Williamson said the plan he and Landeros discussed was simple Saturday.

"If you break good, don't let [Terra Promessa] get loose on the lead," Williamson said. "We broke super. It looked like favorite didn't break good. It looked like she was kind of boxed in."

Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode Terra Promessa, did not place blame on his trip Saturday.

"She just didn't show up," he said.

Landeros said he had an ideal trip from post 7 in the field of seven Saturday.

"The outside post was kind of in our favor today," he said. "I thought Irad was going to go a little bit with his horse. Terra Promessa had the inside and we took advantage of it. [Streamline] runs hard every time. She deserves a chance every single race. Very, very game mare."

Streamline was winning the seventh race of her career. She earned $210,000 to push her career bankroll to $601,566. Streamline is a daughter of Straight Line and was bred by her co-owner Nancy Vanier. Streamline also is owned by Cartwright Thoroughbreds.