RAFAEL BEJARANO, BENCH POINTS, Winner: “He broke well and I was trying to get him to relax behind the speed. I knew Runflatout was going to be tough at the end, so that’s why when I saw him move a little bit from the three-eighths (pole) I tried to get close to him. When we came to the stretch, the horse in front was lugging out and (Runflatout) reacted right away. My horse kept running and showed me a big kick.’’
GARRETT GOMEZ, RUNFLATOUT, Second: “We came out of the gate fine. He traveled well, settled in nice. The horse on the lead (Ain’t No Other) came out turning for home, kind of swung out in front of me. My horse kind of looked at him at little bit and made me wait for a second. It looked like the outside horse (Bench Points) was going to blow by me, but my horse fought back. He’s going to be a nice horse.”
TIM YAKTEEN, BENCH POINTS, Winner: “Mission accomplished. Everything worked out well for us. Obviously, it’s a reflection on the horse himself. His first work back after the rest was such an impressive effort. He really sparkled. That gave me a lot of confidence. How can you regret a ride like that (running in Kentucky Derby prep races). It’s a lot of fun and everybody enjoyed the roll. You regret getting the horse beat, but he never disgraced himself. Now we’re back where he’s best. We’ll keep him sprinting. We have no plans right now. We’re just going to see how he comes out of the race and give him plenty of time. If we’re lucky enough, we’ll go the Smiling Tiger route. That was a pretty nice campaign (trainer) Jeff (Bonde) put together for him. But obviously you have to have the horse. Right now, I’m pretty excited about his prospects.”
Notes: Bench Points finished third in the San Felipe Stakes March 13 and seventh in the Santa Anita Derby April 9 in his first races around two turns…Bench Points is 5-for-5 sprinting….This was the second graded stakes victory at Hollywood Park for Yakteen, 46. The first was with Stratham in the 2006 Will Rogers….Smiling Tiger won the 2010 Barrera en route to being a finalist for an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter.
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