01/14/2017 7:46PM

Terra Promessa remains perfect locally by scoring in Pippin

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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.