July 22, 2024

My Best Brother leads throughout in Del Mar Derby

Last updated: 9/2/12 10:20 PM

Al Eisman and William Currin’s homebred My Best Brother flashed his trademark
speed and regained the winning thread in Sunday’s Grade 2, $300,000
Del Mar
. Just denied at the wire in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap on August
11, when he slowed it down early on the front end, the Julio Canani trainee was
allowed to gun it here, and he was clearly in his element while winging it

Prior to his last-gasp loss in the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla, My Best Brother had
won three straight at up to a mile, including a division of the Oceanside on
July 18. The question was whether the added ground in the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar
Derby would pose a difficulty, and this contributed to his going off as the
fourth choice at 6-1. The full brother to Grade 1 winner Stormello, who missed
by a nose in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at this distance in 2007, dismissed
that out of hand.

“I told him (Martin Garcia) to ride him like he did in the Oceanside,” the
inimitable Canani said. “What happened in the La Jolla? He fell asleep.”

Regular rider Garcia had guided him through fast fractions during his winning
streak, and did so again in the Del Mar Derby. Taking charge through an opening
quarter in :23 on the firm turf, My Best Brother ripped a half-mile in :46 2/5,
considerably faster than his early splits in the La Jolla. He was still motoring
through six furlongs in 1:10 3/5, and kept on to reach the mile mark in 1:34

East Coast shipper Howe Great, the 5-2 favorite, took up a stalking position
in third after breaking from the outside post 10. The Team Valor International
runner gave chase down the stretch, but could not run down My Best Brother, who
maintained a three-quarter length margin.

The wire-to-wire winner, who finished in 1:46 4/5, rewarded his loyalists
with $14, $6.40 and $4.20.

“The other day (La Jolla) wasn’t his day,” Garcia said. “Today was. He was
running hard out there. It wasn’t like he was doing it easily. He went 1:10 (and
3/5) for six (furlongs) and that’s not easy when you’re going a mile and an
eighth. He’s a nice horse. The turf course is playing fast now and that worked
well for him. And the extra distance might have helped, too.” 

Howe Great held runner-up honors by a a length from the rallying Brother

“I wish something would have gone and pushed (the winner),” jockey Mike Smith
said of his view aboard Howe Great. “I knew I couldn’t and still have something
left. He gave me his kick and he ran good. That winner, though, he gets brave
out there on the lead, that son of a gun.”

Power Foot crossed the wire fourth. Next came La Jolla winner Old Time
Hockey, who had a troubled trip; Tribal Tribute; All Squared Away; Smart Ellis;
Midnight Crooner; and Tones. The also-eligible Desormais didn’t draw into the
field and has been entered in Monday’s 3RD race.

My Best Brother has now won four of his last five, boasting $343,090 in
earnings from an overall record of 8-4-1-0. Well beaten in his premiere over Del
Mar’s Polytrack as a juvenile, he did not reappear until April, tiring to fourth
in a six-furlong maiden on dirt at Santa Anita.

The Stormy Atlantic colt was fifth in his turf debut at Hollywood Park, but
then turned the corner once getting Garcia in the irons. He finally broke his
maiden in his fourth career start on May 27, recording an authoritative victory
at six furlongs on the Hollywood turf. The bay stretched out effectively in his
next start, winning a one-mile turf allowance by a length on June 28, and
captured his stakes debut in the Oceanside.

“This is a nice horse,” Canani said. “After the La Jolla he was training
unbelievable. He was keeping his weight up good, he eats every day. If after the
La Jolla he would have been acting different, I might worry. But everything was
good, all the time.”

When asked about plans, Canani responded, “I play everything by ear.”

The Kentucky-bred My Best Brother is out of the Carson City mare Wilshewed.
His accomplished full brother Stormello landed the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity
and Grade 2 Norfolk in 2006 and earned more than $700,000. Sadly, Stormello died
early in his stud career.

This classy female family includes multiple Grade 3 winner The Pamplemousse
and stakes winner American Lady, who finished fourth in the Grade 2 A Gleam
Handicap this summer.

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