12/30/2006 12:00AM

Special Cheers holds on


Special Cheers ($15.60), the pacesetter, held off 30-1 shot Storm Savvy by a nose to win the $60,000 Sandpiper for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

Under Luis Gonzalez, Special Cheers set early fractions of 22.15 and 45.43 seconds to hold a short lead into the stretch, with Storm Savvy right at her flank and Foret ranging up outside. But Special Cheers shook free to gain a clear lead leaving the eighth pole, then just lasted late over Storm Savvy with Foret a half-length back in third.

Special Cheers, who has now won three straight, covered six furlongs over a fast track in 1:11.60.