09/07/2010 2:19PM

Gotta Have Her looking out of town

Benoit & Associates
Gotta Have Her is likely headed to the First Lady at Keeneland on Oct. 9.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Gotta Have Her has been a mainstay on the Southern California circuit for four seasons, but the move of the Oak Tree meeting from Santa Anita, where she is a terror on the downhill turf course, to Hollywood Park is likely to force her to head out of town for her next start, according to trainer Jenine Sahadi.

“Losing the hill, that was devastating for me,” Sahadi said after Gotta Have Her successfully defended her title Monday at Del Mar in the Grade 2, $150,000 Palomar Handicap for older female turf horses. “We may run in the mile turf race at Keeneland.”

That would be the Grade 1 First Lady on Oct. 9, a race that is likely to attract divisional leader Proviso.

Gotta Have Her overcame a dawdling pace to win the Palomar. She is Sahadi’s favorite horse, and the trainer grows anxious when watching her run.

“She’s very special,” Sahadi said. “She’s a joy to have. She’s so versatile. She’s effective from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile and an eighth. She will ship to Hollywood Park on Thursday. This will be her last year of racing.”

Gotta Have Her, 6, has won 10 times in 29 starts and has earned $1,092,608. She is owned by the Green Lantern Stables of Richard Masson.

Norfolk next for Bench Points

There were two stakes for California-bred males this summer at Del Mar, and Bench Points won both of them. Now, according to trainer Tim Yakteen, he’s set to take the next step. After winning the Graduation Stakes on Aug. 4, he came back and captured the I’m Smokin Stakes on Monday, thus earning a spot in the Norfolk Stakes during the Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 2.

“It’s time to test open races,” Yakteen said after Bench Points ran his record to 3 for 3.

Bench Points won the six-furlong I’m Smokin, despite losing his left front shoe during the race, according to his jockey, Rafael Bejarano.

Avid to have nuclear scan

Avid, who finished a disappointing eighth in the Darley Debutante on Saturday, will undergo a nuclear scintigraphy scan after initially coming out of the race sore, according to her trainer, Richard Mandella.

“She had muscle spasms and cramps,” Mandella said Tuesday morning at Del Mar. “She was in a lot of pain cooling out for about 45 minutes after the race. She’s okay today. But we’re going to have the nuclear scan done, just to make sure there’s nothing else going on.”

Avid was an impressive winner of her debut earlier this summer. The Debutante was her second start.

Sadler raises money for school

A local school that offered a day at the races with trainer John Sadler raised $10,000, according to Carrie D’Arcangelo, whose daughter, Ava, 8, attends Solana Vista in nearby Solana Beach, Calif.

“It was an auction item,” said D’Arcangelo, who occasionally has owned horses over the years. “I’ve been friends with John for years, and he agreed to do this. He spent the whole day with a family that brought about seven or eight kids along. They went to the barn, where he put the kids on a pony, and then in the afternoon, they went to the paddock.”

And they eventually got to go to the winner’s circle. But only after an inquiry, because the race they watched with Sadler on Sunday was the Del Mar Derby, in which Twirling Candy was left in first place after a controversial bumping incident on the backstretch.