The Juddmonte Farms' entry of Etoile Montante and Intercontinental towers over the field for trainer Bobby Frankel in Saturday's $200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Del Mar.
The 50th version of the 1 1/16-mile turf event drew a field of eight.
Intercontinental was sent off the 4-5 favorite in the Diana Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga in her last start July 31, but she struggled home to finish fifth on a yielding course. Prior to that she won the Just a Game (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park in June and the Jenny Wiley (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in April.
Etoile Montante, who was a game third in the Just a Game, tuned up for the Palomar with a fourth-place finish in the Osunitas Handicap August 11 at Del Mar. Bottled up on the inside throughout the stretch run, the 3-5 favorite never had the opportunity to catch the Chilean-bred Voz De Colegiala.
The Ron McAnally-trained 5-year-old mare Voz De Colegiala, owned by Nelson Bunker Hunt, is in the Palomar field.
Intercontinental, to be ridden by Marco Ramirez, and Etoile Montante, with Jose Valdivia Jr. in the irons, share top weight of 120 pounds. Both have earned more than $400,000 in their careers, which began in France.
The top winner in the field is Katdogawn, who is trained by James Cassidy and boasts earnings of $504,803 in 21 career starts, all on the grass. A three-time winner at Del Mar, she won the 2003 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) in her seaside debut 13 months ago.
Fun House, trained by McAnally for owner Winchell Thoroughbreds, gets returning Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens. Fun House was second to Katdogawn in the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in the spring. The last time Stevens rode the 5-year-old mare, they teamed to win the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) in February. Fun House has earnings of more than $400,000 with five wins in 25 starts.
Rounding out the field are Makeup Artist, a late-closing runner-up in the Osunitas; likely pacesetter Notting Hill, who finished third in Del Mar's John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) July 24; and Tangle, who was fifth in Hollywood Park's Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) July 11.$200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT), fillies & mare 3 & up, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Tangle (IRE), 113, Corey S. Nakatani
2. Etoile Montante (KY), 120, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
3. Voz De Colegiala (CHI), 114, Jon K. Court
4. Katdogawn (GB), 117, Kent J. Desormeaux
5. Notting Hill (BRZ), 114, David R. Flores
6. Makeup Artist (KY), 114, Mike E. Smith
7. Fun House (KY), 115, Gary L. Stevens
8. Intercontinental (GB), 120, Marco Ramirez