05/01/2016 9:18PM

Cheekaboo rallies to capture Campanile Stakes

Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography
Cheekaboo, ridden by Juan Hernandez, scores by a length in the Campanile.

ALBANY, Calif. -- Patience paid off for jockey Juan Hernandez as he sat back early and angled wide for a clear trip in the lane as he guided Cheekaboo to victory in the $101,125 Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday.
  It was the second California-bred turf stakes on the card.
  Cheekaboo ($10) had only one horse beaten down the backstretch as Run for Retts took the lead. Cheekaboo, a daughter of Unusual Heat, finally began to move up while racing four wide on the second turn but was still sixth after turning for home. Hernandez angled wide going outside How Unusual, who also was racing wide into the stretch.
 With a clear path, Cheekaboo unleashed a strong kick and beat How Unusual to the wire by a length, winning the one-mile race in 1:38.19.
  "She broke a little slow," said Hernandez."I didn't move. I just stayed in position and waited to the stretch. You can do whatever you want with her. I took her outside, she kicked strong, and we won the race."
  The decision to wheel out into the clear was the right one as there proved to be plenty of trouble inside. How Unusual finished second, but third-place finisher Patriotic Diamond was taken down for bothering Hacktivism and placed sixth. The Spiral Jetter was moved up to third.
  It was the first stakes victory for Cheekaboo,  owned by Sharon Alesia, Mike Burns, and Ciaglia Racing, who paid $55,000 at the 2014 Barretts October sale. She was bred by Madeline Auerbach, Richard Rosenberg, and Barry Abrams.
 Cheekaboo, who had hit the board in all three previous turf starts, including a third in the Cal Cup Oaks, earned $57,000. Her career earnings are now $137,680.