The third largest crowd in Del Mar history, 40,046, saw Becrux and El Roblar win divisions of the featured Oceanside Stakes Wednesday, opening day of the seaside track's 43-day summer meeting. A year ago, attendance was 39,346 for the opening card. The Italian-bred Becrux, who arrived at Del Mar only last Sunday from Saratoga, N.Y., led from wire-to-wire at odds of 13-1 under jockey Garrett Gomez to handily win the first division of the traditional opening-day headliner at a mile on the grass for 3-year-olds. His winning margin was 1 1/2 lengths over Legal Precedent, with Leo Getz third in the field of nine.Becrux, owned by Team Valor Stable, Barber and Balzarini, stepped the distance in a fast 1:33.91 and returned $28, $11 and $6 as the sixth choice in nine-horse line-up. Neil Drysdale saddled the winner for the first time. Prior to journeying west, Becrux made his United States debut for Kiaran McLaughlin, finishing ninth in the Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park June 10. He began his career in Italy, where he won his first four starts, and also raced three times in the United Arab Emirates.The winner, a son of Glen Jordan, earned $51,240 from a gross purse of $85,400. It was the colt's sixth victory in ten career starts.Eastern Sand, the even-money favorite, finished seventh after a tardy break.(Chart, Equibase)In the second division, El Roblar and jockey Alex Solis went off the 2-1 favorite and didn't disappoint with a three-quarters of a length triumph over In Excelsis. Juliesugardaddy finished third, three lengths behind the winner.
El Roblar, a Kentucky-bred son of War Chant owned by Stonestreet Stables and trained by Richard Mandella, charged from off the pace to win in 1:33.57. His prize also was $51,240 from a total purse of $85,400. The long-striding colt now is unbeaten in three career outings. The win payoff was $6.60, $4.20 and $2.80.(Chart, Equibase)