Updated on 09/17/2011 10:15PM

Tara's Touch gets first U.S. win in Stravinsky

Bill Straus
Tara's Touch ($9.40) wins the $114,700 Stravinsky Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday.

The third time proved a charm for Tara's Touch, who launched a winning bid near the rail to defeat 11 turf sprinters Saturday in the $114,700 Stravinsky Stakes at Keeneland. The win was the first in North America for Tara's Touch, a South African-bred mare.

Tara's Touch, ridden by Mike Smith, returned $9.40 as second choice in the Stravinsky, a 5 1/2-furlong race that was completed in 1:04.52 over a yielding course. Shaunavon, who had taken over for front-running Miss Penny Fortune after the field straightened for home, held second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner and a nose ahead of late-running Singit.

The Stravinsky marked the third start for Tara's Touch since Team Valor and partners had her imported from South Africa, where she had won 7 of 15 races. Turned over to Niall O'Callaghan, who trained her this winter in New Orleans, then south Florida, Tara's Touch finished second in the Leggio Memorial at Fair Grounds in January, then eighth in a Gulfstream allowance in February.

Mike Smith was substituting for Pat Valenzuela, who was taken off his mounts after being injured Friday night at Hollywood Park.

The Stravinsky was part of the Coolmore Lexington undercard. In earlier races, trainer Dallas Stewart and Robby Albarado enjoyed a memorable afternoon when teaming to win three races: the third with Psych ($6.40), the fourth with Silverfoot ($3.60), and the eighth with Family Business ($3.40).