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Bench Points Returns on Friday

Undefeated California bred gelding Bench Points makes his first start of the year in the seventh race at Santa Anita Park on Feb 11th. The six furlong Optional Claiming event drew a field of six.

The three-year-old son of Benchmark began his career with a late running five furlong win at Hollywood Park last June. The Tim Yakteen charge followed his debut with similar victories in the $100,000 Graduation and $100,000 I'm Smokin at Del Mar. All three races were restricted to state breds and he meets open company on Friday. Alonso Quinonez hops aboard. 

Rafael Bejarano rode Bench Points in his three starts last year but he rides promising second time starter Rumor in this event. The Richard Mandella trainee dueled and romped by almost seven lengths under Bejarano at Santa Anita Park on Dec 31st. The daughter of Indian Charlie faces males and looms a pace factor at the very least.

The horse to beat is Da Ruler. Bob Baffert's fleet colt dueled and held on gamely as the favorite in a fast debut maiden sprint win at Santa Anita on Jan 16th. Mike Smith sticks with the son of Roman Ruler.

Polished Nickel easily graduated in the maiden claiming ranks on a wet-fast surface Dec 29th. He owns running style versatility and makes his second start for trainer Kathy Walsh after being claimed for $40,000 on Dec 4th. Joel Rosario rides and he is one of two entrants running for an $80,000 tag.

El Gaucho is the other runner entered for a tag and the two-time winner was last seen finished second in a local $50,000 claiming event at seven furlongs on Dec 30th. Corey Nakatani climbs aboard the outside tactical threat.

Hollywood Heist rounds out the field. He exits a local maiden romp in his sixth lifetime start but will have to run much faster to compete here. He breaks from the rail under Patrick Valenzuela.   

 

What the Nation is saying about Bench Points Returns on Friday...

Commenting will be activated once this submission is approved.
This will be an interesting test of the fresh speed in Baffert's Da Ruler against the Cal-bred closer in Bench Points. Can anyone say this year's Caracortado? He turned out to be pretty nice...

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