07/31/2005 11:00PM

Tara's Touch upsets Royal North

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Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Tara's Touch wins the $176,800 Royal North Handicap at Woodbine Monday.

Tara's Touch ($19.40) overhauled fellow Kentucky shipper Unbridled Sidney in deep stretch to win the Grade 3, $176,800 at Woodbine on Monday.

Unbridled Sidney, the 3-5 favorite, set sizzling fractions of 21.93 and 44.58 seconds on a clear lead in the six-furlong turf sprint. Tara's Touch raced in third along the rail on the turn about three lengths off the lead, in unison with Royal Liverpool.

Robert Landry angled Tara's Touch off the rail nearing the eighth pole, and they went on to prevail by half-length over the closing English invader Saint Etienne. Unbridled Sidney, unbeaten in three previous turf sprints, finished another nose back in third in the nine-horse field of fillies and mares. The final time was 1:09.79.

"My filly was in the game the whole way," said Landry. "She's pretty uncomplicated; I was just a passenger."

Niall O'Callaghan trains Tara's Touch, a South African-bred 6-year-old, who earned $102,420 for Team Valor and Margtaux Farm.

Tara's Touch was a Group 1 winner in South Africa two years ago and won the Stravinsky, a 5 1/2-furlong stakes at Keeneland, two starts ago. She had been freshened since finishing 10th of 11 in the Grade 3 WinStar Distaff Handicap, a one-mile race at Lone Star Park, in late May.