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Bench Points Sharp in Graduation

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Well-regarded Bench Points slipped through on the rail turning into the stretch under crafty handling by jockey Rafael Bejarano en route to an impressive triumph in the featured $100,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred two-year-olds Wednesday. 


Bench Points, a close 2-1 second choice in the betting, hit the front with a sixteenth of a mile remaining of the 5 1/2 furlong sprint and quickly drew off to win by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:04.79.


Joy Boy, sent postward at 10-1 under Corey Naktani, ran second, a neck in front of 26-1 outsider Blingboy who set the pace under Patrick Valenzuela and held on gamely to be third. Stormin Rae, the lukewarm 2-1 choice, was sixth.


Bench Points, owned by the partnership of Linda Mariani, Charles Martin, Mary Jo Zuraitis and Donald Crevier and conditioned by Tim Yakteen, earned $60,000 with his second victory in as many efforts. The winner is a son of Benchmark who broke his maiden at Hollywood Park June 5.


Bench Points returned $6.60, $3.60 and $3. Runner-up Joy Boy paid $8 and $5.80, while Blingboy returned $8 to show.


With no perfect tickets in the Pick Six, there will be a carryover of $117,821 on Thursday's program. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m.


Wednesday's attendance was 13,043.




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