03/05/2010 12:00AM

Cheer Up too sharp to let her sit


NEW ORLEANS - Strike while the iron is hot, goes the old adage, and Steve Margolis is hoping it proves wise when he sends Cheer Up back to the races only 10 days after her first victory.

Cheer Up will be part of a field of six in Sunday's featured eighth race at Fair Grounds, a first-level allowance for older fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track.

Cheer Up didn't race as a 2-year-old, and then was lightly raced during her 3-year-old campaign last year.

"She's one of those fillies who has had a lot of little things along the way that have kept her from running," said Margolis. "But she is doing good now, and she loves the Fair Grounds."

Cheer Up finished a solid second in a good field here on Dec. 28. She was beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Clear Sailing, who returned to win the Pelleteri and will face Rachel Alexandra next Saturday in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies.

Margolis wanted to find another maiden sprint locally, but ended up having to ship her to Oaklawn Park last month. In her seventh try, Cheer Up delivered a maiden win on Feb. 25, rating just off the pace before taking over in the turn and winning by 2 1/2 lengths.

When she arrived back at Fair Grounds and remained in good form, Margolis decided to enter her, rather than risk the chance that she wouldn't get to race at this meet.

"She's doing good right now, and she bounced out of that race well," said Margolis. "I don't run horses back to run them back, but once in a while you can take a shot with a horse that comes out of a good race, a confidence-building race."

Sunday, Cheer Up will find Songtress just to her outside. Songtress won at first asking as a 2-year-old in 2008 and then finished seventh in the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen.

On the shelf since then, and off for all of her 3-year-old season, Songtress shows a string of solid works at Sam Houston, and a four-furlong blowout locally on Wednesday.

"Whatever was bothering her, she's over it," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "I love how she goes, and if she runs like she's been training, she'll be right there."