09/01/2006 11:00PM

Mea Domina best in Palomar

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DEL MAR, Calif. - A little wakeup call leaving the gate was the urging that Mea Domina needed to win Saturday's $189,000 at Del Mar.

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Mea Domina led throughout the Palomar, setting a course record of 1:39.67 seconds for 1 1-16 miles on turf. The time was 1-100th's of a second faster than the previous record set by Cheroot in 2005.

Mea Domina ($13.80) set quick fractions of 23.51 and 46.53 seconds, leading by as much as 1 1-2 lengths. She was challenged in deep stretch by Three Degrees and held on to win by a neck.

"I slapped her with the whip to get her out there" in front early, Baze said. "Once she got in front on the first turn, it was nice."

Three Degrees, who was last in the field of 10 fillies and mares for the first half-mile, finished a length in front of Island Fashion. Shining Energy, the 3-1 favorite, finished fourth.

The Grade 2 Palomar was Mea Domina's second start of the year after a layoff caused by a foot problem. Trained by Ron McAnally for Janis Whitham, Mea Domina, 5, has won seven of 13 starts and $693,628.