Nancy A. Vanier and William Cartwright’s Streamline was the surprise winner of Saturday’s Grade 2 Azeri Stakes, crossing the wire about a length in front at odds of 12-1 on the tote board. The 5-year-old daughter of Straight Line was near the lead throughout under Chris Landeros, and completed the 1 1/16-mile distance over Oaklawn Park’s fast main track in 1:43.67 for trainer Brian Williamson.
“I had a great trip,” Landeros said. “The outside post was kind of in our favor today. I thought Irad was going to go a little bit with his horse. Terra Promessa had the inside and we took advantage of it. She runs hard every time. She deserves a chance every single race. She’s little but she’s so game. Very, very game mare.”
Terra Promessa, previously undefeated at the Arkansas track, was expected to break on top of the field. However, that filly had to take up sharply when she was outgunned by both She Mabee Wild and Streamline from the starting gate, forcing Terra Promessa back to third and boxing her in along the rail with Power of Snunner on her outside. She Mabee Wild and Streamline stayed a half-length apart through early fractions of :23.71 and :47.41, with Terra Promessa still stuck along the rail and Eskenformoney making a bold move on the outside.
Near the three-quarters mark, Streamline easily took over the lead, but Eskenformoney was making a big rally three-wide. Terra Promessa had nowhere to go behind horses until the top of the lane, but she never found her best stride after the troubled trip. Streamline, meanwhile, was under persistent handling from Landeros to maintain her one-length lead all the way down the stretch. Eskenformoney was probably moving the better of the two mares late in the race, but Streamline crossed the wire a diminishing length in front. Tiger Moth closed from well off the pace to pick up third, and Power of Snunner stayed on for fourth.
“’Break good and don’t let the favorite get loose on the lead’ were my instructions,” Williamson said. “She broke great. Looked like the favorite didn’t break as good and was kind of boxed in. I thought Chris rode her great. If she comes back good and checks out good, we’re definitely running in the Apple Blossom.”
Bred in Illinois by Nancy Vanier, Streamline had never won a graded stakes race before the Azeri, though she has never finished worse than fourth in 17 career starts. Out of a daughter of Sahm, the filly boasts a record of seven wins, three seconds and six thirds in her career, with earnings of $ 600,000. Nancy Vanier, mother-in-law to trainer Brian Williamson, also owned Streamline’s sire Straight Line (Boundary), and bred and raced Streamline’s first four dams.
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