Terra Promessa seeking fourth straight in Fantasy

Apr 08, 2016 Jennifer Caldwell/Brisnet.com

With 100-40-20-10 points on the line toward a starting berth in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1), six fillies will try their luck on Saturday in the $400,000 Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

The 1 1/16-mile affair is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races, and is also part of a quartet of preps to the Run for the Lilies on Saturday across the country.

Terra Promessa looks likely to take home both the winner’s share of the purse and top prize of 100 points for trainer Steve Asmussen. The Curlin filly romped by nine lengths to open her sophomore season against allowance rivals over track and distance on February 6. She returned March 12 to make her stakes bow in the Honeybee (G3) on a sloppy, sealed Oaklawn track and prevailed by 6 1/2 lengths. Ricardo Santana Jr. has been in the irons for all of Terra Promessa’s starts and the duo should get another winner’s circle photo to commemorate their partnership in the Fantasy.

Taxable will do her best to upset her stablemate, who is the 3-5 morning-line favorite. Following a seven-length maiden debut win at Churchill Downs last June, Taxable wasn’t seen in competition again until showing up to take a one-mile allowance/optional claimer one day before the Honeybee at Oaklawn. Corey Nakatani guided the Tapit filly to that two-length score and retains the mount on Saturday.

Cosmic Evolution finished third in the Honeybee, 11 lengths behind Terra Promessa after leading early on the backstretch. The Lon Wiggins pupil will be getting a new rider in Ramon Vazquez for the Fantasy after regular jockey Calvin Borel announced his retirement recently. Cosmic Evolution will have to improve drastically to challenge Terra Promessa in this spot, but a fast track could keep her in the top three.

Ready to Confess followed a 6 1/2-length maiden win at Remington Park in late November with an allowance/optional claiming score at Oaklawn in mid-January. However, the Donnie Von Hemel trainee was no match for stakes rivals when making her black-type debut in the Martha Washington S. last out in early February. Luis Quinonez has been aboard for all of Ready to Confess’ starts and has the return call in the Fantasy.

Florida Bird earned her first win in a state-bred maiden claimer in March but couldn’t offer much when fourth in the state-bred Rainbow Miss S. last Saturday. She might get part in this short field but is coming back on just a week’s rest.

Impasse is 3-0-0-0 in her career, all at Oaklawn, and doesn’t appear ready to change that here.

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