Beautifully rated on the lead by jockey Martin Garcia, My Best Brother
held off the late challenge of the 5-2 favorite, eastern invader Howe Great, to win Sunday’s 68th running of the Grade II $300,000 Del Mar Derby.
Sent to the front shortly after the start of the nine-furlong test over Del Mar’s infield Jimmy Durante grass course, My Best Brother set realistic fractions but still enough left in reserve to prevail over the rallying Howe Great and win by three-quarters of a length in a fast 1:46.83.
My Best Brother, a 5-1 shot Sunday, won the second division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day July 18 and was nosed out by Old Time Hockey in the La Jolla Handicap August 11.
Third Sunday was 7-2 second choice Brother Francis, a length behind Howe Great and a half-length in front of fourth-place Power Foot in the field of ten sophomore runners.
My Best Brother, a son of Stormy Atlantic owned by the longtime partnership of Bill Currin and Al Eisman and trained by Julio Canani, paid $14, $6.40 and $4.20 while earning $180,000 to increase his bankroll to $343,090 with his fourth victory in eight starts.
Howe Great, who was ridden by Mike Smith for Team Valor International, returned $4.20 and $3.40, while Brother Francis, Victor Espinoza up, paid $4.20 to show.
Supporting features on Sunday’s 11-race program were the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for three-year-old fillies and the $90,350 Adoration Stakes for older fillies and mares.Potesta
, the 2-5 favorite under Joe Talamo, led from start to finish in winning by an easy 7 ½ lengths in Polytrack record time of 1:34.86 for a mile in the Torrey Pines. Viva Carina was second and Starlight Magic third in the field of eight fillies.
Potesta, a daughter of Macho Uno, is owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino and trained by Mike Mitchell, the same owner-trainer combination that clicked in the Del Mar Mile with Obviously a week ago in record time of 1:32.10 for a mile on the infield grass course. Talamo also rode Obviously.
Potesta, recording her third victory in four career starts, earned a purse of $60,000 to swell her bankroll to $192,400. She paid $2.80 to win.
Whereas Potesta was in front all the way, Talamo won the $90,359 Adoration Stakes with a come-from-behind trip aboard 9-1 outsider Cathy’s Crunches
, owned by Mark DeDomenico and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Cathy’s Crunches, a filly by West Acres whose races this year have been in Northern California, tallied by 1 ¼ lengths over Graser, with Great Hot third.
Cathy’s Crunches was timed in 1:36.52 for the mile on the main track and returned $20.60 while earning a purse of $54,210. It was the sixth win in 17 starts for Cathy’s Crunches, who was third in the Torrey Pines Stakes as a three-year-old last summer.
Sunday’s Pick Six had a carryover of $182, 318 from Saturday. Added to that in “new” money was $1,173,864 for a grand total of $1,356,182. There were ten six-winner tickets Sunday and each was worth $80,779.
Del Mar will celebrate Monday, Labor Day, with another 11-race program beginning at 2 p.m.
Sunday’s attendance was 18,910.