My Best Brother and Old Time Hockey, who landed the major three-year-old grass stakes at Del Mar over the summer, will renew rivalry Friday in the Grade 2, $150,000 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita. Formerly known as the Oak Tree Derby, the grassy 1 1/8-mile Twilight Derby is the last of 10 races on the first of two Breeders' Cup programs.
My Best Brother and Old Time Hockey met three times at Del Mar, with My Best Brother coming away with two wins. A wire-to-wire winner of the second Oceanside division on opening day, My Best Brother was caught at the wire by Old Time Hockey in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap in their next meeting. However, My Best Brother earned revenge in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby with another gate-to-wire score.
Old Time Hockey struggled to make either the Oceanside or Del Mar Derby competitive. Third by two lengths in the former, the gelded son of Smarty Jones endured trouble in the Derby, losing ground around the final turn when forced to steady. He ultimately made up more than four lengths in the final furlong, advancing from eighth to fifth at the finish, but by then My Best Brother was too far ahead of him.
Several other Del Mar Derby participants are in the Twilight Derby, including fourth-place finisher Power Foot. All Squared Away and Smart Ellis crossed the wire in seventh and eighth, respectively, but were beaten less than three lengths in a tightly-bunched field.
The 2-1 morning-line favorite in the Twilight Derby is the Dermot Weld-trained Irish invader Speaking of Which, who dominated the Group 3 Gallinule by nine lengths at The Curragh in May. Third as the odds-on favorite in the Group 3 Kilternan at Leopardstown most recently, Speaking of Which will add Lasix for his U.S. debut Friday.
English invader Grandeur invades from England where he was Group 3-placed and winner of a lucrative handicap winner during the Glorious Goodwood meeting. The Jeremy Noseda charge is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line.
Trying turf for the first time is Santa Anita main track allowance winner Regulus, a Darley homebred by Distorted Humor who was produced by the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Stellar Jayne.