09/02/2012 9:13PM

Del Mar: My Best Brother uncatchable in Del Mar Derby

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Benoit & Associates
My Best Brother, under Martin Garcia, gives trainer Julio Canani his fifth Del Mar Derby win.

DEL MAR, Calif. – He’s as goofy as ever, with his fractured English, cheeky jokes, and oftentimes indecipherable accent, but Julio Canani can still flat-out train. He won the Del Mar Derby for the fifth time on Sunday as My Best Brother led from start to finish in the Grade 2, $300,000 turf event, erasing a bitter setback last time out in the La Jolla Handicap.

“The jockey fall asleep the other day,” Canani said, referring to jockey Martin Garcia.

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It was Canani’s contention that Garcia needed to let My Best Brother utilize his natural speed, and not throttle him down on the front end. My Best Brother had won three straight under Garcia prior to the La Jolla, including a division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day July 18.

In the Del Mar Derby, Garcia let My Best Brother ($14) bound along on the lead, as he did in the Oceanside. He set fractions of 23 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.57 for a half, 1:10.68 for six furlongs, flew threw his fourth quarter in less than 24 seconds, and then held off 5-2 favorite Howe Great to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:46.83 for 1 1/8 miles on firm turf.

Brother Francis rallied for third and was followed, in order, by Power Foot, Old Time Hockey, Tribal Tribute, All Squared Away, Smart Ellis, Midnight Crooner, and Tones in the field of 10.

The win was the fourth in eight starts for My Best Brother, a son of Stormy Atlantic who was bred and is owned by Al Eisman and Bill Currin, a former trainer.

“We got revenge today,” Currin said. “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

Canani said he had no trouble running My Best Brother three times at the meet.

“This horse after the La Jolla was training unbelievable, though,” he said. “Striding good, eats every day.”

Might Canani point My Best Brother toward the Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 3?

“I don’t know if I’m gonna wake up tomorrow morning,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Potesta set a track record and stamped herself as one of the most-talented 3-year-old fillies in the country with a romping, 7 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes. With jockey Joe Talamo up, Potesta ($2.80) was sent right to the front and led throughout while covering one mile on Polytrack in 1:34.86, bettering the previous record of 1:35.28. Potesta won the Hollywood Oaks in her previous start. She is trained by Mike Mitchell.

Also Sunday, Talamo guided Cathy’s Crunches ($20.20) to an upset victory in the $90,350 Adoration Stakes for older fillies and mares. She beat Graser by 1 1/4 lengths, with Great Hot third. The win ended a nine-race losing streak for Cathy’s Crunches, who is trained and co-owned by Jerry Hollendorfer. She was timed in 1:36.52 for one mile on Polytrack.