09/08/2009 11:00PM

Gotta Have Her closes meet in style

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DEL MAR, Calif. - The consistent Gotta Have Her, who has thrived every summer at Del Mar, closed the 2009 meeting with a gritty victory in the Grade 2, $200,000 Palomar Handicap, outbattling pacesetter Lethal Heat and Eastern invader Carribean Sunset to win the closing-day feature on Wednesday.

Gotta Have Her ($8.80) won by a neck over Lethal Heat, with Carribean Sunset, the even-money favorite, another three-quarters of a length back in third.

Gotta Have Her, under jockey Tyler Baze, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.67. Jenine Sahadi trains Gotta Have Her for the Green Lantern Stables of Richard and Sue Masson.

Sahadi, who had yet to win a race this meet with her small barn, was thrilled with the victory. She planted a kiss on Gotta Have Her's neck when she came back to the winner's circle.

"I think she's fabulous," Sahadi said. "I adore her. She always gives 110 percent."

Gotta Have Her, 5, had finished second to Magical Fantasy in the Grade 1 John Mabee Stakes here on Aug. 16. She has now won seven times in 22 starts, has finished in the money in eight straight races, and has finished first or second in 4 of 5 starts on the Del Mar turf.

* Earlier in the day, Dancing in Silks captured the $112,320 Pirate's Bounty Stakes, a race in which the highly regarded Cost of Freedom faded to finish fourth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths, in his first start in 49 weeks. Dancing in Silks ($6.80) beat Candy Pull by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:09.96 for six furlongs on Polytrack. Tangled Tango was third. Carla Gaines, who trains Dancing in Silks, said the California Cup Sprint on Oct. 3 at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting could be next.