08/11/2012 8:43PM

Del Mar: Old Time Hockey scores in three-horse La Jolla Handicap photo finish

Benoit & Associates
Old Time Hockey gets up at the wire to win the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap by a nose over My Best Brother.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Old Time Hockey couldn’t catch My Best Brother in the opening-day Oceanside Stakes, but given an extra 110 yards to work with Saturday, plus a slight weight break, he was able to get up just in time and nose out My Best Brother in a thrilling renewal of the Grade 2, $147,000 La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-old turf horses at Del Mar.

There were only four runners in the La Jolla, but three of them came to the wire together. Old Time Hockey ($7.60), widest of all, prevailed by a nose, while My Best Brother, who led almost every step of the race, was a head in front of Chips All In, who was racing between horses. Blingo trailed, and Facoltoso was scratched.

Old Time Hockey was timed in 1:40.55 for 1 1/16 miles on firm turf, and he had to make up 2 1/2 lengths on My Best Brother in the final five-sixteenths of a mile. He fell two lengths short of catching My Best Brother in the one-mile Oceanside, in which both carried 121 pounds. In the La Jolla, Old Time Hockey got a four-pound (117-121) advantage.

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As the race unfolded, winning trainer Tom Proctor said he feared My Best Brother was setting a comfortable pace of 23.80 seconds for the quarter and 47.85 for a half.

“I thought we were in a spot,” he said.

But Old Time Hockey surged under jockey Joe Talamo to earn his third win in nine starts.

Old Time Hockey, a gelding by Smarty Jones, was bred and is owned by the Glen Hill Farm of Leonard Lavin and his grandson, Craig Bernick. Glen Hill won the 1979 La Jolla with Relaunch.

Proctor said his intention is to bring back Old Time Hockey on Sept. 2 for the Grade 2, $300,000 Del Mar Derby, a race he won last year for Glen Hill with Banned.