Updated on 09/15/2011 1:48PM

Marine pulls upset in La Jolla


DEL MAR, Calif. - After failing as the favorite in three consecutive stakes, Marine pulled an upset in Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.

Marine ($17.20) rallied between horses and caught 6-5 favorite

Romanceishope in deep stretch to win the Grade 3 La Jolla by a neck.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani for trainer Bobby Frankel, Marine finished 1 1-16 miles on turf in 1:41.72.

In a roughly run race, Nakatani avoided trouble by keeping Marine last for most of the race. At the start, Mister Approval took up when bothered by Sea to See, who inherited the lead on the first turn after Dim Sums bolted and crossed in front of Hoovergetthekeys.

Sea to See led into the stretch, holding an advantage over Mister Approval, who was forced to check along the rail on the second turn. Romanceishope took over in midstretch, but was caught by Marine. Mister Approval finished third, two lengths behind Romanceishope.

The La Jolla, a prep to the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 3, was Marine's first win since the restricted La Puente Stakes last March at Santa Anita. In the Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows on June 10, Marine was pulled up to avoid an accident that occurred in front of him.

"He's been having bad luck all around," Frankel said. "He didn't get hurt in that race, I just freshened up. All of a sudden, everyone forgot him."

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Marine has won 4 of 13 starts and $191,755.

Go to Del Mar coverage.