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Del Mar Enjoys Opening Day Record Crowd

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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 foreleg.

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 Paratito was withdrawn from the original line-up.

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.



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