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.