Before the largest crowd in Del Mar history – 47,339 strong,
three-year-olds Midnight Crooner and My Best Brother shared honors by
winning divisions of the opening-day featured Oceanside Stakes at one
mile over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course Wednesday.
Arnold Zetcher’s Midnight Crooner, another runner from the
talent-laden stable of trainer Bob Baffert, won the opening section of
the Oceanside under jockey Rafael Bejarano, scoring by a neck over Chips
All In. Koast was third, three-quarters of a length behind the
runner-up and a length in advance of fourth-place Blingo.
Boat Trip, the 2-1 favorite, finished fifth in the seven-horse field. Scratches were Guidopanzini and You Know I Know.
Midnight Crooner, a son of War Chant, accomplished the distance in
1:34.74 and returned $10.20 after his third victory in seven starts.
First money of $65,580 from a gross purse of $109,300 increased his
earnings to $128,765.
In the Oceanside second division, My Best Brother, well-rated on the
lead by jockey Martin Garcia, prevailed by a half-length over Tones,
with Old Time Hockey third and Power Foot fourth. Holy Candy, the
even-money betting choice, was pulled up in the stretch by Garrett
Gomez, apparently suffering a non-life threatening injury to his left
My Best Brother, a son of Stormy Atlantic owned and bred by Al Eisman
and Bill Curran and trained by Julio Canani, was timed in 1:34.39 and
paid $14 for his third win in six starts. He earned $65,940 to increase
his bankroll to $133,090. Paratito was withdrawn from the original
Del Mar’s previous biggest attendance was set a year ago on the first
day of the summer season, 46,588. Wednesday marked the eighth straight
year that attendance has exceeded the 40,000 mark on opening day.