Reine de Romance rallies to win the San Clemente.

Reine de Romance rallies to win the San Clemente.

Associated Press/Benoit Photo

Reine de Romance Closes for San Clemente Win

Team Valor and Gary Barber's Reine de Romance rallied in the stretch under jockey Eddie Delahoussaye to win Sunday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar. The 3-year-old filly completed the mile in 1:34.88 on a firm turf course.

Pretty 'n Smart set the early fractions while stalked by Gabriellina Goff as Reine de Romance saved ground while in fourth position. 7-5 favorite raced in fifth place after a :47.18 half-mile to the outside of Reine de Romance. La Vida Loca and Gabriellina Goff moved up to challenge as Reine de Romance continued along the rail before floating out for a clear run at the top of the stretch. La Vida Loca moved ahead of Gabriellina Goff in the stretch before Reine de Romance swept by on the outside on the way to a 1 1/2-length win. Gabriellina Goff came back on La Vida Loca to finish second, a neck-length ahead of the favorite. La Vida Loca finished a neck ahead of a fast-closing Blushing Ballerina, who attempted to thread her way through horses in the stretch before being blocked by a wall of horses. Dynamous came home fifth, followed by Warren's Whistle, Pretty 'n Smart, and Bel Serenata.

The win marks the third in nine starts for the Jenine Sahadi trainee, coming in her first stakes race. Reine de Romance was unsuccessful in two attempts as a juvenile in France, but found success for the first time after returning to turf racing following three stateside attempts on the main track. Since then, the daughter of Vettori--Romanche, by Galetto, has added an allowance win to her resume. She earned $90,000 for the San Clemente win. Reine de Romance was bred in Ireland by Equistock Ltd.

The fourth choice in the eight-horse field, Reine de Romance returned $13.20, $5.40, and $2.80. Gabriellina Goff paid $4.60 and $2.80. La Vida Loca was worth $2.20 to show. The $1 exacta paid $27. (Chart, Equibase)