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Thursday, August 09, 2012


Five Tussle on Turf in Saturday’s La Jolla


Five sophomore runners will match up over a mile and one-sixteenth Saturday on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course as Del Mar presents the 72nd edition of the La Jolla Handicap.

Topping the Grade II headliner that offers a purse of $150,000 is Currin and Eisman’s My Best Brother, the half-length winner of the second division of the Oceanside Stakes on the Del Mar lawn on opening day, July 18. The homebred bay colt by Stormy Atlantic once again will have the saddle services of Martin Garcia as he carries topweight of 121 pounds in the 8-1/2 furlong feature.


All four of My Best Brother’s La Jolla rivals also ran their last races in the Oceanside. One of them, Glen Hill Farm’s Old Time Hockey, was a closing third to My Best Brother, while the other three competed in the first division of the one-mile Oceanside, won by Midnight Crooner.

That trio consists of Everest, O’Brien, et al’s Chips All In, second in the first half of the Oceanside; Mr.-Mrs. Jerry Moss’ Blingo, who rallied for fourth in the race, and Bienstock and Winner’s Facoltoso, who ran sixth in his initial stateside start following a 13-race campaign the past two years in Italy.

The La Jolla is the final major prep race leading up to the track’s 3-year-old showcase event, the $300,000 Del Mar Derby at nine furlongs on grass. That Grade II test will be presented on Sunday, September 2.

Here’s the La Jolla lineup in post position order with riders and weights: Blingo, Mike Smith, 118; Old Time Hockey, Joe Talamo, 117; Facoltoso, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Chips All In, Garrett Gomez, and My Best Brother.

The La Jolla will be the eight of 10 races on the Saturday card with a first post of 2 p.m.


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