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Howe Great Invades for Del Mar Derby

The three-year-old championship of the 2012 Del Mar Thoroughbred racing season will be decided Sunday (September 2) when ten top three-year-olds clash in the 68th running of the Grade II $300,000 Del Mar Derby at nine furlongs over the infield grass course.

The field is headed by Glen Hill Farm’s Old Time Hockey, winner of the La Jolla Handicap, and Team Valor International’s classy Howe Great, east coast invader who won the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park in July.

Nonetheless, the quality runs deep in this renewal of the Del Mar Derby. Entrants include such talented sophomores as My Best Brother, beaten a nose by Old Time Hockey in the La Jolla after winning the second division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day; Midnight Crooner, victor in the Oceanside first division; Irish-bred Tones, runner-up to My Best Brother in the Oceanside; and allowance race winners Smart Ellis and All Squared Away.

Completing the field are Tribal Tribute, a recent stakes-winner at Santa Rosa; Brother Francis and Power Foot. On the also-eligible list is Desormais.

Joe Talamo again has the mount Old Time Hockey, a son of Smarty Jones trained by Tom Proctor, while Mike Smith has drawn the assignment on Howe Great, a son of Hat Trick conditioned by H. Graham Motion. Howe Great was a two-time stakes-winner last winter at Gulfstream Park, including a victory over recent Pacific Classic hero Dullahan in the Palm Beach at the Del Mar Derby distance.

Supporting features on Sunday’s 11-race program are the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for three-year-old fillies and the $85,000 Adoration Stakes for older fillies and mares, both races at a mile on the main track.

Post time for the first race is 2 p.m.


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