09/07/2009 11:00PM

Clement takes another run at Palomar

Barbara Weidl/Equi-Photo

DEL MAR, Calif. - Trainer Christophe Clement spends his summers at Saratoga, but he always has his eye out for opportunities on the West Coast. Twice in the last six years, Clement has sent a female turf runner to Del Mar to win the Palomar Handicap. And when the Grade 2, $200,000 Palomar is run Wednesday, closing day of Del Mar's season, Clement will try to add Carribean Sunset to a list that already includes Voodoo Dancer and Vacare.

"We've been lucky in that race," Clement said Monday morning from Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

It helps to bring the ammunition. In Carribean Sunset, who comes off a narrow loss to Forever Together in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga, Clement has the likely favorite in the Palomar. And Clement benefits by having jockey Ramon Dominguez, the leading rider at Saratoga, stick with Carribean Sunset. There is no racing in New York on Wednesday, so Dominguez was looking for something to do.

"I planned on using a California jockey," Clement said, "but Dominguez said he would like to go and ride. It's rather appealing to keep someone who knows the filly, and the fact he's the leading rider in New York this year is not too bad, either."

Dominguez has been aboard Carribean Sunset for her last three starts, all against the elite female grass runners on the East Coast. On form, she is the one to beat. The biggest hurdle might be that Carribean Sunset drew the outside post in the field of 10 going 1o1/16 miles on turf.

"She's obviously in nice form," Clement said. "She just got beat in the Diana. I think she's an improving type of horse."

Wild Promises, a winner of 13 of 19 starts, looks like the main challenger. She returned from a brief freshening with a powerful victory at Santa Rosa in her last start for trainer Greg Gilchrist.

The consistent Gotta Have Her, who has finished in the money in her last seven starts, comes off an excellent runner-up finish in the Grade 1 John Mabee here last month for trainer Jenine Sahadi.

Allicansayis Wow is being wheeled back 11 days after finishing second against males in the Del Mar Mile Handicap.

"This was the plan from the start," trainer Patrick Biancone said Monday morning. "She doesn't like to be trained too much."

Lethal Heat, third against males in the Del Mar Mile, also is coming back on short rest. She will be making her fourth start of the meeting.