08/06/2006 11:00PM

Mea Domina back racing in Osunitas


DEL MAR, Calif. - Plagued by pesky injuries, Mea Domina has made just 11 starts in her 30-month career. The lack of sustained racing has not kept her from achieving a level of brilliance.

has won six races, three of them stakes. Wednesday, Mea Domina will try for a fourth stakes win when she makes her first start since November in the $85,000 Osunitas Handicap at Del Mar. The Osunitas is a restricted stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf for fillies and mares.

Mea Domina has been sidelined by a hind foot problem and a splint bone injury this year. There is still time for a late-season campaign that can include starts in lucrative races for turf females.

"When she's herself, she can be a Group 1 winner," trainer Ron McAnally said.

Owned by Janis Whitham, Mea Domina, 5, had an outstanding campaign in 2005, winning the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park in May and the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in November. She did not start in between those races.

"She's a willing worker, and in all of her works she gallops out very strongly," McAnally said.

"I expect her to run well."

In the Osunitas, Mea Domina faces a tough field. Of the 12 entrants, 11 have won or placed in stakes, including the stakes winners Beautyandthebeast, Conveyor's Angel, Dalicia, Lady Bertrando, Midwife, Sky Dreams, Starkay, Three Degrees, and Tanta Suerte.

Ten will start, with Polyfirst and Lady Bertrando stuck on the also-eligible list.

, second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last year, makes her first start since finishing seventh in the El Encino Stakes at Santa Anita in January. Trainer Paddy Gallagher said she didn't like running on the main track in the El Encino. Three Degrees, 4, won the Grade 2 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap on turf at Hollywood Park in June 2005.

The one filly in the field who has not won or placed in a stakes is , who was fifth or worse in her two stakes appearances. Trained by John Shirreffs, Revealed is a contender in the Osunitas after winning her last two starts, an optional claimer at Santa Anita in April and an allowance race at Hollywood Park in May.

Revealed races near the front, but is not a one-dimensional pacesetter, Shirreffs said.

"She's tough to rate, but she can settle," Shirreffs said. "She's a big filly with a big stride and covers a lot of ground."