December 18, 2018

Farrell headlines Bayakoa

Farrell scores in the Pippin Stakes under regular rider Channing Hill at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, January 13, 2018 (c) Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography

Multiple Grade 2 heroine Farrell faces six rivals on Saturday when lining up in the $150,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) going 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park.

Before wiring the Pippin Stakes in her four-year-old debut on January 13, the Wayne Catalano trainee had only ever competed at Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds. The dark bay lass easily transferred her ability from those two tracks to Oaklawn when taking the Pippin by three parts of a length. Channing Hill has been aboard for all of the Malibu Moon filly’s 11 career starts and the duo will make it a dozen here.

Streamline is following the same path at Oaklawn as she’s done for the past two years. The Brian Williamson charge captured the 2016 Pippin prior to a runner-up effort in that year’s Bayakoa, a close third in the Azeri Stakes (G2) and another second in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1). Last year the dark bay mare ran third in both the Pippin and Bayakoa before capturing the Azeri and filling the third spot next out in the Apple Blossom.

The Illinois-bred recorded just one more start in 2017 following the Apple Blossom, finishing third in the La Troienne Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 5. The Straight Line mare made her six-year-old debut, and first start off an eight-month break, in the Pippin most recently, and will attempt to improve upon her third-place run on that occasion with Gary Stevens keeping the mount.

Terra Promessa was the 7-5 favorite in the Pippin but could do no better than fifth under returning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. Like Streamline, the five-year-old mare was making her first start off a long break, having last been seen finishing second by double-digit lengths in the Shuvee Handicap (G3) at Saratoga on July 30.

Also familiar with Oaklawn’s four-race series for distaffers, Terra Promessa captured both the Pippin and Bayakoa last year before running fifth in the Azeri and second in the Apple Blossom. The Steve Asmussen-trained daughter of Curlin went on to wire the Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) at Pimlico on May 19 before wrapping up the year in the Shuvee.

Polar River began her career in Meydan in December 2015 and the next year took on the boys after capturing her initial four starts, including the 2016 editions of the U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas and U.A.E. Oaks (UAE-G2), by a combined 31 1/2 lengths. The Brendan Walsh trainee reputed herself well against males, just missing by three parts of a length in the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) in March when second to eventual Belmont Stakes (G1) third-placer Lani.

The Congrats mare would not make another start until November 2016, running fourth in an allowance at Meydan, and was well-beaten in three spaced out races last year. Polar River receives the services of jockey Luis Contreras as she makes her five-year-old debut in the Bayakoa.

Torrent is hoping to earn her first stakes victory in this spot after taking an allowance/optional claimer going a mile at Oaklawn on January 26. The Ron Moquett trainee was third prior to that in the Raven Run Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in late October, her first placing since filling that same spot in the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn last February. David Cohen was aboard for Torrent’s latest win and holds the reins in this spot.

Trainer Chris Hartman saddles Defy for the first time here after the bay lass was claimed out of her last race, a runner-up effort behind Torrent at Oaklawn. Jockey David Cabrera has the call as the Into Mischief four-year-old also makes her stakes debut.

Sully’s Dream upset the Houston Distaff at 13-1 on January 28 while kicking off her four-year-old campaign for trainer John Ortiz. The Colonel John filly wired that 1 1/16-mile contest over a good track at Sam Houston, but was a well-beaten seventh in her only try at Oaklawn last March. Fernando De La Cruz will be aboard in this spot.