HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Steadfast Stable’s Highland Glory needed every inch of the Gulfstream Park stretch on Saturday, rallying late to nip Cheermeister and win the $100,000 Sanibel Island Stakes Presented by US Foods.
Breaking from post 11 under Paco Lopez at 7/2 odds, Highland Glory settled comfortably into mid-pack as she passed the empty grandstands for the first time. Up front, the speedy Cheermeister held a lengthy advantage while posting opening fractions of :23.46, :47.35, and 1:10.70.
After inching forward through the far turn, Highland Glory turned for home with a clear path and her eyes set on the pacesetter. Rallying toward the front alongside She’s My Type, Highland Glory drifted in slightly but still met Cheermeister’s throat latch in the shadow of the wire.
Surging ahead in the final jump, the Barclay Tagg trainee crossed a neck clear in a final time of 1:34.42 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course.
Cheermeister held off She’s My Type by a 1/2-length to secure second. Stunny Sky was 3/4 of a length back in fourth, while Walk In Marrakesh necked out How Ironic for fifth.
Lucky Polly, Heir of Light, Seducer, Fujairah, and Onyx completed the order of finish. Lady Panda was scratched, as was Duchess of Sussex, who failed to draw in from the Also Eligibles list.
Highland Glory’s win was her second straight, having broken her maiden here on January 19 while making her first appearance on turf. The 3-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa improved her record to 4-2-1-0 with $106,580 earned.
Highland Glory returned $9.80 to win, $5.60 to place, and $4.20 to show. Cheermeister brought back $6.80 to place and $4.80 to show, while She’s My Type paid $5.20 to show.