Magic Mission Heads Palomar Field

From Del Mar press office:

The field is small but mighty for Sunday's grade II, $200,000 Palomar Handicap for fillies and mares 3 years old and up going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Heading the field is the high-weighted Magic Mission, who will carry 116 pounds, including Corey Nakatani. The 5-year-old mare is owned by Sheikh Maktoum and trained by Neil Drysdale. She has a record of four wins, five seconds, and five thirds in 21 lifetime starts for earnings of $327,946. In her most recent start, the daughter of Machiavellian captured Hollywood Park's grade III Royal Heroine Stakes.

Set to tackle her are Garden in the Rain, at 114 including Julie Krone for owner Richard Englander and trainer Jeff Mullins; Wertheimer Farm's Spring Star, at 115 and Alex Solis for trainer Richard Mandella; Rhiana, who has been assigned 113 pounds and will have Patrick Valenzuela in the irons for owners John and Allegra Ernst and trainer Dan Hendricks, and the light-weighted Esmay, at 110 pounds, for owners Mike Burns and Al Kolbe and trainer Lou Carno. Goncalino Almeida has the call to ride.

Only Spring Star and Esmay have traveled the course during the meeting. Spring Star was third behind Arabic Song and Belleski in the Osunitas Handicap August 13. Australian-bred Esmay, fresh from an allowance triumph at the seashore, will be making her fourth seasonal start here.

A companion feature to the Palomar is the $75,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Heading the field of nine is Miss Houdini, last year's winner of the grade I Del Mar Debutante. She will carry 116 pounds, including regular rider Gary Stevens.