10/21/2008 11:00PM

Black Mamba dips into Las Palmas


ARCADIA, Calif. - The expensive race for Black Mamba for Friday was the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita, an event that would have required a $300,000 supplemental entry fee by owner Doubledown Stable.

Fiscal responsibility prevented such expenditure. The more logical option was Friday's $250,000 Las Palmas Handicap, after the Breeders' Cup races are run. The nomination and starting fees for the Las Palmas total $2,750.

"It's a little easier horses, too," said trainer John Sadler. "If it wasn't for the money, we'd be in the big one."

Black Mamba will be after her third graded stakes win of the year in the Grade 2 Las Palmas, which is run over a mile on turf and has drawn a full field of 14. While the race does not have the depth of the BC Filly and Mare Turf, the Las Palmas field does contain 11 stakes winners this year.

Black Mamba is having the best season of her career. A 5-year-old New Zealand-bred mare, she won the Grade 2 Beverly Hills and Grade 1 John Mabee handicaps during the summer, and was third to BC Filly and Mare Turf entrants Wait a While and Vacare in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes here on Sept. 27.

While there can be no disputing her class, Black Mamba could have trouble with the Las Palmas distance. She is best at between 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/4 miles.

"If there is pace in front of her, she can win at a mile," Sadler said.

A decent pace should develop. Bahama Mama and Moujane, both stakes winners this year, typically race near the front.

Gotta Have Her needs a fast pace. Trained by Jenine Sahadi, Gotta Have Her finished in a dead heat with Kris' Sis for second in the Grade 2 Palomar Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 30, closing from last in a field of 10 to lose by a half-length. Kris' Sis, who has placed in four stakes this year, will be in the middle of the field.

The race has drawn two mares from other circuits. Roshani, a stakes winner at Pimlico in May, and Rosinka, a stakes winner at Delaware Park, give the race a national flavor. Rosinka was third in the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes on the main track at Keeneland earlier this month.