Green Lantern Stables' classy Gotta Have Her, a six-year-old
mare whose middle name should be "consistency," scored her second straight
triumph in Del Mar's Grade II $150,000 Palomar Handicap with a typically game
Sent to the gate as the even-money favorite in a field of
five older fillies and mares, Gotta Have Her and jockey Mike Smith forged a
neck victory over 11-1 longshot Go Forth North, with 9-5 second choice Lilly Fa
Pootz third another half-length away.
Well-placed from the start of the mile and one-sixteenth
grass race, Gotta Have Her swept to the lead in the upper stretch and appeared
to be toying with her rivals coming to the wire. The daughter of Royal Academy
ran the distance in 1:42.39, slower than the 1:40.67 recorded by her in 2009
because of a dawdling early pace Monday set by You Lift Me Up and jockey
Patrick Valenzuela who stepped the first quarter in :26.24 and a half-mile in
You Lift Me Up, trained throughout her career by Jenine
Sahadi, scored her tenth victory in 29 starts and first money of $90,000 increased her earnings to
She paid $4, $3 and $2.10; runner-up Go Forth North returned
$5.80 and $2.60, while Lilly Fa Pootz paid $2.10 to show.
In the supporting feature, the $100,000 I'm Smokin Stakes
for California-bred two-year-olds, 3-5 favored Bench Points and Rafael Bejarano
got up in the final strides to win by a half-length in 1:10.28 for the six
furlongs on the main track.
Swiss Tart, a 27-1 outsider, was second, a head in front of
third-place Lucky Mr. K in the field of ten juveniles.
Bench Points, representing a partnership including Joanne
Buss, wife of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and trained by Tim Yakteen, paid $3.10, $2.80
and $2.20 after scoring his third win in as many starts. He won the Graduation
Stakes a month ago at Del Mar. First money of $60,000 swelled the Benchmark
colt's bankroll to $144,600.
Swiss Tart paid $13.40 and $7, while Lucky Mr. K returned
$5.60 to show.
Bench Points provided Bejarano with his second win of the
afternoon, equaling the output of his rival, Rosario, for the afternoon.
Bejarano came back to win the tenth race aboard Russian River for his third win
Monday and now leads Rosario, 54-53, with only Wednesday remaining of the 2010
Del Mar meeting.
Labor Day Monday's attendance was 13,060.