01/14/2017 6:46PM

Terra Promessa remains perfect locally by scoring in Pippin

Coady Photography
Terra Promessa, with Jose Ortiz in from New York, delivers as the favorite in the Pippin.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Terra Promessa improved her Oaklawn Park record to 4 for 4 on Saturday, when she led throughout to capture the $125,000 Pippin Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths over Ready to Confess. It was another three lengths back in third to Streamline. 

The Pippin, a 1 1/16- mile race for fillies and mares, served as the first local stepping-stone to the Grade 1, $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 14. It was run before an estimated ontrack crowd of 16,000, on an overcast first Saturday of the season at Oaklawn.

Terra Promessa ($4.60) established herself as the meet’s top 3-year-old filly last year, when she won a first-level allowance, the Grade 3 Honeybee, and Grade 3 Fantasy. She started this year’s season with a sharp effort over a quality field. Terra Promessa set fractions of 23.72 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 47.78 for the half-mile, and 1:12.60 for six furlongs before going on to cover the distance in 1:43.16.

“When I asked her, she responded really well,” said Jose Ortiz, who was aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Ortiz came in from Aqueduct to ride opening weekend, and he registered his first-ever wins at Oaklawn on Saturday. His first came in the fourth with Rockshaw.

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“It’s great here, lots of people, which is great for racing,” said Ortiz.

Terra Promessa earned $75,000 for her win in the Pippin to push her earnings to $525,600. She has now won 5 of 8 starts. Terra Promessa is a daughter of Curlin and she was bred by her owner, Stonestreet Stables.

The Pippin was the second of three stakes being run over the four-day opening weekend at Oaklawn. There is no stakes for the Sunday card, but the $150,000 Smarty Jones for 3-year-olds goes on Monday.