Rymska wins the 2017 Sweetest Chant

Rymska wins the 2017 Sweetest Chant

Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Rymska Surges to Sweetest Chant Win

Trainer Chad Brown won his sixth consecutive Sweetest Chant.

Trainer Chad Brown won his sixth consecutive edition of the Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3T), when Rymska showed a powerful turn of foot and surged down the middle of the Gulfstream Park stretch to win in the final strides Feb. 4. 

Video: Sweetest Chant S. (G3T)

As her stablemate Okinawa went for the lead in the one-mile race over the firm turf, the 3-year-old daughter of Le Havre (IRE) raced near the back of the nine-horse field. Okinawa, under Javier Castellano, lead through the first half-mile and set fractions of :24.09 and :48.15, as A Great Time, Compelled, and Bahama Halo stalked. 

Around the far turn, A Great Time moved up to pressure Okinawa—and Rymska began advancing from the back of the pack. As the two frontrunners dueled at the top of the stretch, 3-1 second choice Compelled moved up to steal the lead, but could not hold off the late-running Rymska, with Joel Rosario up, who surged to victory by three quarters of a length. 

Rymska crossed the wire in 1:35.04 for owners Sheep Pond Partners, Alain Jathiere, Tom Coleman, and Norton Herrick. Compelled held on for second, with Fifty Five third, followed by Tamit in fourth. 

Rymska returned $4.20, $2.80, and $2.40 across the board. 

"This is a nice race. We point toward it every year and we've been lucky enough to have horses good enough to win these races," Brown said. "That's what it takes. My staff did a great job, this horse in particular. From the Breeders' Cup we got her down here just days after and got her acclimated to South Florida and she's had a tremendous winter. She's been putting on weight, training well, fresh. I thought a mile might be a touch short, and she showed her class to get up in time.

"(Rosario) tried to tuck her in the first turn and somebody took his spot, and she was not only far back off a slow pace but she was three wide," Brown added. "It wasn't his fault. I could see what his intentions were, but Joel's a top-class rider. He went to Plan B. He knew he was sitting on a ton of horse and he just bided his time, and she won despite all that.

"I don't know (what's next). I really just wanted to get her started for the year and see how she ran today. There's a chance she could run one more time down here before heading north. I'm not exactly sure. I'll talk to all the partners."

Bred in France by Eric Feurtet, Rymska was purchased by Oceanic Bloodstock for $42,998 as a weanling at the 2014 Arqana December breeding stock sale. She won a stakes race in France before making her first start in the U.S., a runner-up effort behind New Money Honey in the Miss Grillo Stakes (G3T) in October. In her previous start, she ran fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T).