INGLEWOOD, Calif. (August 30, 2012)—Brother Francis, who finished third in the Grade I CashCall Futurity last Dec. 17 at Betfair Hollywood Park, will make his first graded appearance on turf in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby Sunday at Del Mar.
A Grade II for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, the Derby is the ninth of 11 races. Post time is 2:05 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10 a.m. for simulcasts.
Owned by Norman Cheng and trained by Jim Cassidy, Brother Francis finished only 1 ¾ lengths behind Liaison in the CashCall when still a maiden.
A son of Lion Heart and the Spectrum mare Viapervita, Brother Francis broke through with his first victory Aug. 5, winning by six lengths at 6 ½ furlongs over Polytrack. The blowout win was the first race for the chestnut since he finished fifth in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby April 7.
Worse than third only once in his career, Brother Francis has earned $192,720 in six starts.
One of Brother Francis’ opponents Sunday is Old Time Hockey, who earned his first win in California in a $54,350 allowance June 1 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A Smarty Jones gelding out of the A.P. Indy mare Grat, Old Time Hockey, won captured the Grade II La Jolla Handicap Aug. 11, is owned by breeder Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor. The owner-trainer combination won the 2011 Del Mar Derby with Banned. No owner has ever won the race in consecutive years. The last trainer to win two years in a row was Julio Canani – Ladies Din (1998) and Val Royal (1999).
The card also includes the $85,000 Adoration Stakes for older fillies and mares and the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Both are at one mile over Polytrack. The Torrey Pines is the fifth race while the Adoration is the seventh.
From inside out, the field for the 68th Del Mar Derby: Tones, Kevin Krigger rides, 122 pounds; Tribal Tribute, Aaron Gryder, 122; Brother Francis, Victor Espinoza, 122; All Squared Away, Garrett Gomez, 122; My Best Brother, Martin Garcia, 122; Power Foot, Edwin Maldonado, 122; Midnight Crooner, Rafael Bejarano, 122; Old Time Hockey, Joe Talamo, 122; Smart Ellis, Corey Nakatani, 122, Howe Great, Mike Smith, 122 and also-eligible Desormais, Smith, 122.
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