A celebration was in order for Tim Yakteen after Points Offthebench
provided the first Grade I victory of the trainer’s nearly nine-year
career with his own stable in Sunday’s Grade I $300,000 Bing Crosby
“What did I do? Went out to dinner with the owners (Don
Crevier and Charles Martin),” Yakteen said Wednesday morning. “We all
had big smiles on our faces.”
If things extended to past midnight, there was additional cause to celebrate. Monday was the 49th birthday for Yakteen, a former assistant for both Charlie Whittingham and Bob Baffert.
The Bing Crosby was Yakteen’s fourth stakes win at Del Mar. The first came on his 41st birthday (July 29, 2005) with Fortunately in the Daisycutter Handicap.
Points Offthebench prevailed by a head over Goldencents under Mike
Smith and came out of the race in good shape. Yakteen said Points
Offthebench, a 4-year-old son of Benchmark, was a possibility, but not a
probability for the Grade II 7-furlong $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes,
final event in Del Mar’s major sprint stakes series, on Sunday, August
The Bing Crosby was part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge racing series
and was a “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the $1 million Breeders’
Cup Turf Sprint. Yakteen said that Points Offthebench is Breeders’ Cup
eligible and the target race would be the $2 million Sprint on dirt if
Points Offthebench makes the November 1-2 event at Santa Anita.
Trainer Doug O’Neill was pleased with the effort by Goldencents. The
Santa Anita Derby winner made his first start since the Preakness Stakes
in May at Pimlico.
“He came out of it in great shape and we’re very
proud of him,” O’Neill said. “He’s back on the beam. We’ll get him back
to galloping and training and if his energy level remains high, we’ll
shoot for the Pat O’Brien.”
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella
said that Crosby third-place finisher Jimmy Creed came out of the event
fine. But Mandella was uncertain regarding future plans.
“I was kind of disappointed that he finished third (beaten 3 ¼
lengths) but I can’t figure out why. The Pat O’Brien is still a
possibility. We’ll wait and see.”
Peter Miller, trainer of
fifth-place finisher Comma to the Top, said the 5-year-old multi-stakes
winner came out of the race with a bruised left front foot. “We’ll do a
nuclear scan and see what we find,” Miller said. “Taking away nothing
from the first three finishers, if Comma runs like he had been, he wins