07/29/2004 12:00AM

Senor Fango takes Graduation


Senor Fango, who needed five races to win his maiden and failed to finish a race in May, won his stakes debut in Wednesday's $125,000 Graduation Stakes at Del Mar.

Sent off as a lukewarm 5-2 favorite, Senor Fango rallied from third under Kerwin John to outfinish the pacesetter, Fallfree. The victory gave Senor Fango's trainer and co-owner, Jerry Dutton, his second stakes win of the meeting, a week after Wild Babe won a division of the Oceanside Stakes on July 21.

Senor Fango ($7) finished 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.90.

Swiss Lad finished third in the field of eight California-bred 2-year-olds.

Senor Fango will return in the $100,000 I'm Smokin Stakes for statebreds on Sept. 6.