07/18/2012 9:26PM

Del Mar: My Best Brother leads throughout second division of Oceanside


DEL MAR, Calif. - Staying focused has made a stakes winner of My Best Brother.

Since the colt was fitted with sheepskin cheek pieces in late May, he is unbeaten in three starts, including the second division of Wednesday’s $109,900 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, My Best Brother ($14) led throughout the one-mile Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf, holding off a challenge from Tones. Old Time Hockey was third in the field of eight.

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Holy Candy, the even-money favorite, did not finish. He was pulled up by jockey Garrett Gomez in the stretch and was vanned back to trainer John Sadler’s stable. The preliminary diagnosis was a non-life-threatening injury to his left foreleg, according to track stewards.

My Best Brother was timed in 1:34.39, slightly faster than the 1:34.79 that Midnight Crooner recorded in the first division earlier on the program.

Garcia had My Best Brother on the lead by as much as 1 1/2 lengths in the first half-mile, setting a pace of 22.94 and 46.75 seconds. My Best Brother led by a length with a furlong remaining and won by a half-length over Tones, a 16-1 outsider.

Old Time Hockey was followed by Power Foot, Stoney Fleece, Majestic City, and Longview Drive.

My Best Brother races for former trainer Bill Currin and Al Eisman, and is trained by Julio Canani.

By Stormy Atlantic, My Best Brother was winless in his first three starts. Canani added the sheepskin cheek pieces before a maiden race over six furlongs on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 27. He won the race by 2 1/2 lengths, and followed with a one-length win in an optional claimer there on June 28.

“I put them on and he’s won three times,” Canani said. “Before he wanted to go in and go out.”

Similar to Midnight Crooner, My Best Brother will be considered for two graded stakes for 3-year-olds on turf at this meeting – the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 11 and the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 2.