BALTIMORE -- With a quarter-mile to run in the Allaire duPont Distaff, the race was effectively over.
Terra Promessa, the heavy favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares, was lengthening her lead under Jose Ortiz after setting easy fractions -- and yet her Hall of Fame trainer, Steve Asmussen, began whistling and cheering as if a torrid stretch duel was about to unfold.
"Aw, if you can't root, don't come to the races," a smiling Asmussen said after kissing his mother, Marilyn, and hugging his father, Keith. "I just love this filly."
He should. Bred and owned by the Stonestreet Stables of Barbara Banke, who also was on hand with her family, Terra Promessa has won 7 of 12 career starts and $836,100 after her 7 1/2-length triumph in the Grade 3, $150,000 DuPont Distaff, the first of seven stakes on the Friday card at Pimlico.
Always in control after breaking sharply, Terra Promessa went in splits of 23.80, 47.13 and 1:10.91 before finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.12 over a fast track. She paid $4.20.
Carrumba was second, another 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Mo' Green, who outlasted Power of Snunner for third by a neck.
Terra Promessa is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Curlin, who 10 years ago Saturday captured the Preakness at Pimlico for Asmussen and a partnership that included Stonestreet, then overseen by Banke's husband, the late Jess Jackson. That was one reason Asmussen was so pumped.
"She's a Curlin, and the Curlins get better with age," he said.
Terra Promessa is now a four-time Grade 3 winner, having previously accounted for the Honeybee, Fantasy, and Bayakoa, all at Oaklawn Park. She was the runner-up behind Stellar Wind in her most recent start, the Grade 1 Apple Blossom last month.
The $2 exacta (4-6) paid $13, the $1 trifecta (4-6-3) returned $12.40, and the 10-cent superfecta (4-6-3-1) was worth $3.01.