08/09/2012 3:17PM

Del Mar: My Best Brother goes for fourth straight win in La Jolla

Benoit & Associates
My Best Brother won a division of the Oceanside on Del Mar's opening day.

DEL MAR, Calif. – After My Best Brother won a division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day July 18 at Del Mar, trainer Julio Canani took a wait-and-see approach as to whether he would come back in the Grade 2, $150,000 La Jolla Handicap on Saturday, or simply await the Grade 2, $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 2.

The wait is over, and Canani likes what he has seen.

“He’s eating good and everything,” Canani said. “He didn’t back up, so . . .”

So, My Best Brother will go for his fourth straight victory on turf in the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla, which has a field of four 3-year-olds after the scratch on Friday of Facoltoso. As in the Oceanside, My Best Brother looks to be the controlling speed in the race. And he proved last time that he can withstand fast fractions and still prevail.

“I thought he was going too fast,” Canani said of opening fractions of 22.94 and 46.75 seconds during the one-mile race, “but he kept on running.”

My Best Brother’s win streak coincides with a switch to jockey Martin Garcia.

“Martin, he gets along with the horse, though,” Canani said. “That’s why he didn’t get a divorce. When you don’t get along with someone, you get a divorce. Very simple.”

Canani is also married to a bridle with sheepskin cheek pieces, which he says has helped My Best Brother stay focused.

Old Time Hockey is looking to make up two-length difference from when he finished third to My Best Brother in their Oceanside division. They carried equal weights last time, but Old Time Hockey gets a four-pound edge (117-121) this time.

“He’s got a shot in there,” Tom Proctor, the trainer of Old Time Hockey, said Thursday morning. “He just keeps improving every race.”

Chips All In and Blingo were second and fourth, respectively, in the other Oceanside division, won by Midnight Crooner, who is passing the La Jolla to await the Del Mar Derby.

Chips All In has the best chance to pressure My Best Brother early, since he is usually forwardly placed. In his division of the Oceanside, Chips All In attended a pace that was much slower than My Best Brother’s division, and was defeated by a neck.

Blingo, who runs late, would appreciate more pace at which to run than he got last time out, when he was seven lengths behind a half-mile time of 47.46 seconds. That was his first turf loss after two prior victories.