Photo: Benoit Photo
***Editor's Note - Sadly, Points Offthebench broke down today during a workout at Santa Anita and had to be euthanized.***
From now until the Breeders’ Cup, we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Breeders’ Cup Buzz Horses – horses we’re excited to watch run at Santa Anita this November 1-2.
Breeders' Cup Division: Sprint
Breeding: Benchmark - Mo Chuisle (Free House)
Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Owner: Donnie Crevier & Charles V. Martin
Breeder: Gary Rocks
*Timeform Master Rating: 123
**TimeformUS Speed Figure earned: 116
Analysis of key prep (Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship): Breaking from post position number six, Points Offthebench showed good tactical speed and settled comfortably early, behind the breakaway leader Distinctiv Passion, who went out winging by himself through very fast early fractions. Points Offthebench, at odds of 9/2, was positioned side by side with last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, Trinniberg, after a quarter mile.
In a clear demonstration of two horses going in different directions on form, the more heavily backed Trinniberg started to retreat while under a busy ride. Meanwhile, Points Offthebench started advancing strongly towards the leader while under the extremely confident handling of Mike Smith.
Points Offthebench was going so easily that he appeared to be a certain winner on the far turn. However, he lugged in sharply when straightened for the stretch drive. Mike Smith was able to keep him straight enough to get by Distinctiv Passion. Points Offthebench responded gamely when finally urged in mid-stretch and held off the late rally of Goldencents to capture his fourth straight race and second at the Grade 1 level.
Buzz Horse Countdown:
*Timeform Master Ratings are adjusted for age, so that equal ratings mean horses of equal merit. Another way of looking at it is to see the universal rating handicap as four handicaps side by side: one for two-year-olds, one for three-year -olds, one for four-year-olds and one for older horses.
**In TimeformUS past performances, neither the Timeform Performance Ratings nor the TimeformUS Speed Figures are adjusted for age.