Tara's Tango, the only Grade I winner in the line-up, having accounted for the Santa Margarita last March, put her class and versatility on display Wednesday with a come-from-behind triumph in the featured Grade III $100,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap.
Perfectly placed behind the swift pacesetters by jockey Martin Garcia, Tara's Tango rallied into the stretch to enter contention and take command and then held off the fast-closing Enchanting Lady to win by a half-length in 1:15.60 for the six and one-half furlongs, a distance the filly had not competed at since December of 2015.
Enchanting Lady, piloted by Rafael Bejarano, finished a half-length in front of the surprising 35-1 longshot Coniah, who led in the stretch until overtaken by Tara's Tango but five and one-quarter lengths ahead of fourth-place Pretty N Cool in the field of six older fillies and mares. Sensitively, the 2-1 favorite, was a faltering sixth and last. Finest City was scratched.
Tara's Tango, a daughter of Unbridled's Song owned by Stonestreet Stables and trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, scored her fifth win in a dozen starts and increased her bankroll to $738,004 with first prize of $60,000.
As fourth choice in the betting, Tara's Tango returned $10.60, $4.80 and $4.20 after carrying topweight of 122. Runner-up Enchanting Lady paid $4.40 and $4, while Coniah returned $10 to show.
Jamie Theriot, competing on a regular basis at Del Mar for the first time, had a saddle double, aboard Snow Cloud at $11.20 in the third and Out of the Ordinary at $13 in the sixth. Theriot had been riding on the Midwest racetrack circuit.
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