Stonestreet Stables' homebred 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song won just her second race sprinting in Wednesday's feature going 6 1/2 furlongs. Her only other victory in a one-turn race came in 2014 at Del Mar, when she won her five-furlong debut as a 2-year-old.
Tara's Tango may not have had prior success sprinting at the graded level, but the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee was all class in the stretch of the Rancho Bernardo.
Under the guidance of jockey Martin Garcia—who also was aboard for her score in the Santa Maria (gr. II) in February, which came before her victory in the Santa Margarita (gr. I) with Rafael Bejarano in the irons—Tara's Tango advanced on the early leaders entering the bend, then encountered a three-wide wall of horses late in the turn, but angled out to find space in the stretch. The gray or roan filly passed longshot Coniah as other runners tired, then held off a late drive from Enchanting Lady—who closed from last—to win by a half-length.
"She's been running with top horses," Garcia said of Tara's Tango, who ran for the first time since a third in the Apple Blossom (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park in April. "I know 6 1/2 (furlongs) is a little bit different, but since she's had blinkers, she's shown a little more interest and a little more speed. Today was a tough race for her, because she was with some good fillies, but today she was better than the other fillies."
Sensitively, off as the slight 2-1 favorite, set the early pace with fractions of :21.76 and :44.79 through a half-mile, under pressure from last-out C.E.R.F. Stakes winner Pretty N Cool. But both tired badly in the stretch as Coniah, the longest price on the board, took command.
The 35-1 shot could not hold off the closing pair, but did manage third, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Pretty N Cool. Lost Bus and Sensitively completed the order of finish. Tara's Tango finished off the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.60.
The winner paid $10.60, $4.80, and $4.20 across the board. Enchanting Lady delivered $4.40 and $4, and Coniah returned $10 to show.
Tara's Tango now has a 5-3-2 record from 12 starts and $738,004 in earnings.