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Thewayiam Makes the Grade in Sweetest Chant

Feb 3, 2018
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Given an ideal ride from recently crowned Eclipse Award winner Jose Ortiz, Thewayiam powered down the center of the track and held off a late bid from Salsa Bella to win the $100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) by three-quarters of a length Saturday at Gulfstream Park. 

The 23rd running of the one-mile Sweetest Chant was the second of five graded stakes for 3-year-olds worth $950,000 in purses on a 12-race program anchored by the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2), Gulfstream’s first step on the road to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) March 31.

Great Point Stables, Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Thewayiam ($11.40) completed the distance in 1:36.90 over a turf course labeled good for her second straight stakes win and first in graded company, both at Gulfstream. Bred in France, she is three-for-four since coming to the U.S. last summer.

Ortiz settled Thewayiam on the inside from their rail post in the field of nine 3-year-old fillies as 30-1 My Favorite Gift posted fractions of 24.35 seconds, 49.11 and 1:13.09 pressed by Go Noni Go. Ortiz swung Thewayiam to the outside around a tightly packed group turning for home to run down the tiring pacesetter and had plenty left to turn back Salsa Bella, who broke a step slowly in just her second career start and first in the U.S.

Salsa Bella was 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Andina Del Sur while My Favorite Gift held on for fourth, another half-length back. Salsa Bella and Data Dependent, the beaten 4-5 favorite, were attempting to give trainer Chad Brown his seventh straight victory in the Sweetest Chant.  

$100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) Quotes

Trainer Graham Motion (Thewayiam): “You don’t need to give Jose instructions. She had a great post and I think Jose’s right. She’s a little small, a little compact and it’s just easy to maneuver her, particularly here on this turf course where you need to duck and dive into good gaps. She’s very tough, and she’s got a great turn of foot, and I think that really helps her.”

“When she ran in California, we really took her out of her game. We kind of rushed her out of there and she had a bad post. That’s just a race to put a line through. It wasn’t fair to put on her, really.”

“She obviously loves this course, and I think the difference was we got the jump on the other filly. The other filly first time over here didn’t break that good and she was coming at the end, but Jose said he had a little left.”

“I think there’s a good shot we will [come back for the $100,000 Herecomesthebride (G3) March 3]. When you’ve got a horse when that really suits this turf course you’ve got to take advantage of it.”

Jockey Jose Ortiz (Thewayiam): “It was perfect. I just tried to do what I did last time and stay on the rail. Today I had the 1 hole – it was perfect. I stayed there for as long as I could. When I asked her to go, she had a great kick.”

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