Photo: Benoit Photo
has put on his game face and soldiered on like the professional that he is ever since Points Offthebench was euthanized due to a training mishap eight days before he was scheduled to run as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita last Nov. 2.
Friday morning, with the picturesque San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop at Clockers’ Corner, Yakteen was preparing to depart for Florida where Points Offthebench is a finalist for an Eclipse Award as Outstanding Sprinter of 2013. The Eclipse Award winners will be announced Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
“Bobby (former mentor Bob Baffert) got a ticket for me and I’m all squared away, so Millie and I are on our way,” said Yakteen, who was Baffert’s assistant for five years until going on his own in 2004. “Millie” is Tim’s wife, Millie Ball, host and analyst for HRTV.
Yakteen preferred to see the glass as half full. “It could be bittersweet under the circumstances,” the 49-year-old native of Nuremburg, Germany, said. “But it’s an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as some of these Hall of Famers like Baffert, (Jerry) Hollendorfer, (Charlie) Whittingham and (Ron) McAnally.
“The list is endless. This is what we’re in the game for.”