08/08/2004 11:00PM

Santa Rosa: Our Mango wins Elie Destruel

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Trainer Steve Specht said he was "sweating bullets" seeking a victory in his hometown and accomplished that when Our Mango ($28.40) got a perfect trip along the rail to win the $51,895 Elie Destruel Handicap on closing day Monday at the Sonoma County Fair.

"When Christmas Time scratched and we ended up on the rail, I was a little concerned because my mare has just enough speed that she might have gotten trapped, but she was also on the best part of the track," Specht said.

Jetinto Houston, breaking from just outside Our Mango sped to the lead ahead of Channing Way and favored Pheiffer. That allowed Our Mango to get a good trip from just behind the pace.

Jockey Frank Alvarado waited for room along the rail, and when space opened, he quickly sent Our Mango through the hole and quickly pulled clear to win the six-furlong race for fillies and mares by two lengths over Pheiffer in 1:09.32. Channing Way, who got the lead in the lane, finished third.

"Steve told me not to send her but not to take back," Alvarado said. "When that hole opened, it was just perfect."

Our Mango earned $30,385 for her fourth victory in 26 starts for Para Dice Acres. Her career earnings are now $153,931.