The 4-year-old fillies Allicansayis Wow and Lethal Heat, second and third, respectively, against males in the Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) late last month, are back with their own sex in a contentious renewal of the Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day at Del Mar Sept. 9.
The $200,000 Palomar, at 1 1/16 miles, replaced the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) as the track's meet-ending feature on this year's schedule. The 10-horse field of older fillies and mares also includes the graded stakes winner Wild Promises and two other graded or group winners -- Carribean Sunset and Gotta Have Her -- that are coming off runner-up finishes in grade I events.
Irish-bred Carribean Sunset, the 120-pound high weight for the Palomar, ships in from New York for Christophe Clement after turning in a huge effort in Saratoga's Diane (gr. IT) in her last start Aug. 1. The 4-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer overcame traffic problems to split rivals and get the lead in the stretch before losing by a head to champion Forever Together. Owned by John and Sarah Kelly, Helen C. Alexander, and Donald and Joan Cimpl, the bay filly won the $200,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at Philadelphia Park prior to the Diane. Ramon Dominguez is coming in from Saratoga for the ride. Carribean Sunset drew the outside post.
Weighted at 119 are Wild Promises and Gotta Have Her.
Wild Promises, from the Golden Gate Fields barn of Greg Gilchrist, outclassed three rivals in the Luther Burbank Handicap on the grass at the Sonoma County Fair at Santa Rosa last time out. From the estate of Harry Aleo, the 5-year-old daughter of Wild Event is game as they come, having won 13 of 19 lifetime starts with just one off-the-board performance. The fleet-footed Florida-bred mare is 11-for-14 on the turf, including a gate-to-wire win in the My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder last December. David Lopez has the mount.
The grade III winner Gotta Have Her just missed in Del Mar's John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IT) at nine furlongs Aug. 16, losing by a length to Magical Fantasy. Trained by Jenine Sahadi for Green Lantern Stables, the 5-year-old Royal Academy mare ran second in a dead heat behind Vacare in last year's Palomar. She is ideally drawn in post 6 with Tyler Baze aboard.
Allicansayis Wow, owned by Mrs. Paul Shanahan, turned in her biggest American effort in five starts this year when she ran second to Ferneley in the Del Mar Mile on grass Aug. 29 for trainer Patrick Biancone. After pulling early, she rallied from fourth in the final furlong to edge Lethal Heat for second. The daughter of Street Cry had a pair of allowance wins in this country after beginning her career with a single win in eight tries in Ireland. Garrett Gomez, who rode her for the first time in the Del Mar Mile, will pilot the bay once again.
This will be the fourth start of the seven-week Del Mar meet for Lethal Heat, trained by Barry Abrams. The Unusual Heat filly led in the stretch run in both of her most recent efforts only to finish third each time. Prior to her loss in the Del Mar Mile, she nearly stole the Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I), but was beaten out in deep stretch by the 12-for-12 mare Zenyatta and Anabaa's Creation. Lethal Heat won a pair of stakes for state breds on Del Mar's Polytrack last year. Alex Solis retains the mount.
Abrams has also entered Bel Air Sizzle and Flashover in the Palomar.
Dawn After Dawn drops a bit after back-to-back grade I efforts, including a third-place finish in Hollywood Park's Vanity June 27. She will try the Del Mar grass course for the first time. In her most recent start, she was fifth in the Clement Hirsch.
$200,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Flashover (CA), J Talamo, 114, B Abrams
2. Lethal Heat (CA), A O Solis, 117, B Abrams
3. Wild Promises (FL), D G Lopez, 119, G Gilchrist
4. Allicansayis Wow (KY), G K Gomez, 117, P L Biancone
5. Dawn After Dawn (FL), J Rosario, 116, J W Sadler
6. Gotta Have Her (KY), T Baze, 119, J Sahadi
7. Bel Air Sizzle (CA), A Quinonez, 115, B Abrams
8. Meydan Princess (IRE), D R Flores, 117, J M Cassidy
9. Missit (IRE), M E Smith, 115, B D Cecil
10. Carribean Sunset (IRE), R A Dominguez, 120, C Clement