DEL MAR MILE | PURSE: $200,000 | GRADE: 2 | 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP | 1 MILE
DEL MAR, Calif. -- A photo finish finally went in favor of Caracortado in Saturday's $200,000 Del Mar Mile.
After losing the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile by a head at Santa Anita in March and the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile by a neck at Hollywood Park on July 2, Caracortado edged the upstart 3-year-old Mr. Commons by a nose to win the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile.
Ridden by Joe Talamo for trainer Mike Machowsky, Caracortado ($4.80) earned the victory. He closed from three lengths off the pace in the final quarter-mile to finish the grass race in 1:34.34. Caracortado ran the final quarter-mile in approximately 22 seconds to reach the front just in time.
In past races, Caracortado has trailed by margins ranging from three to 10 lengths halfway through the race. On Saturday, Talamo kept Caracortado a bit closer to the front than normal in the first half of the race -- about four lengths behind -- and rallied four wide to reach contention on the turn.
"Mike said we should get him into the race," Talamo said. "He always has that turn of foot. He's always flying in the last part."
Caracortado trailed by three lengths with a furlong remaining.
"I was pretty confident, but Mr. Commons is a great horse," Talamo said. "I think I was on the best horse today."
Mr. Commons, the lone 3-year-old in a field of six, led through much of the final furlong. Mr. Commons, third in the Santa Anita Derby and eighth in the Preakness Stakes in the spring, won the restricted Oceanside Stakes in his turf stakes debut here July 20.
"It's unfortunate we didn't win today," trainer John Shirreffs said. "He proved himself."
Mr. Commons finished a half-length in front of 12-1 Calimonco, who won the restricted Wickerr Stakes here in July. Calimonco was followed by Victory Pete, Champ Pegasus, and Our Nastique.
Caracortado, 4, has won 8 of 17 starts and $774,105. Owned by Machowsky and Don Blahut, Caracortado, a gelding by Cat Dreams, won his second stakes of the year in the Del Mar Mile. Caracortado won the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita in January.