HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Teresa and David Palmer’s Cheermeister broke cleanly to the lead, held it into deep stretch and turned back and trio of late challengers for a three-quarter-length upset in the $100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The 24th running of the one-mile Sweetest Chant for fillies on the turf was the second of five stakes for 3-year-olds, four graded, worth $750,000 in purses on a 12-race program highlighted by the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3).
Sent off at 7-1 in a field of seven under jockey Emisael Jaramillo, Cheermeister ($17.20) hit the wire in 1:37.25 over a turf course rated good. Stakes winner Micheline came running late from last to get up for second, a head in front of Ivyetsu. It was three-quarters of a length back to She’s My Type in fourth, while 3-2 favorite Moral Reasoning ran fifth.
Unlike her previous race, when she finished 10th after acting up in and then breaking through the gate in the Ginger Brew Jan. 4 at Gulfstream, Cheermeister exited smoothly and was quickly on the lead, coasting through splits of 24.24 and 49.57 seconds, and went six furlongs in 1:13.64 chased by Moana’s Tale. Cheermeister remained comfortably in front and had something left down the stretch.
A daughter of Grade 1 winner Bodemeister, Cheermeister won the one-mile Wait A While Nov. 30 after finishing second but being placed first following a tough trip in her Oct. 14 debut, both at Gulfstream. It was the fifth career graded-stakes win for trainer Armando De La Cerda, the other four coming with La Tia in 2014 including the Matriarch (G1).
$100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) Quotes
Winning trainer Armando De La Cerda (Cheermeister): “I thought she was going to win last time but she got very nervous in the gate and in the paddock, too. There were a lot of people and it made the horse nervous. I knew I had to work with her at the gate so we worked last week a couple times and we went to the paddock and she was much better this time. It’s the way she likes to be, I think [on the lead]. There was only one other speed in the race [Moana’s Tale], but I don’t think it was as much as my filly. When I saw 24 [seconds] and change and 49, I knew when everybody tried to catch her she was going to kick on. She’s a nice filly.”
Winning owner David Palmer (Cheermeister): “She’s been kind of a farm favorite. We broke her and trainer her at Winner’s Circle Thoroughbreds. I’m a little disappointed that my wife and son and daughter couldn’t be here. They were very involved in her handling. Hats off to [jockey Emisael] Jaramillo. He did a great job, and of course, Armando does a great job. She’s a special filly. It’s just a matter of bringing her along slowly and letting her develop.”