The first grade I winner for trainer Tim Yakteen is now his first Eclipse Award winner as Points Offthebench received the award as champion male sprinter.
In the male sprinter division, tragedy ended the spectacular season of Points Offthebench, Secret Circle made a memorable return to racing, and Sahara Sky delivered a stirring victory in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I).
Top Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint contender fractured his right front fetlock while working Oct. 26 on the Santa Anita Park main track.
Points Offthebench will take a four-race win streak into the Nov. 2 Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) following a sharp victory in the $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (gr. I) Oct. 5.
Points Offthebench made his first venture into stakes company a successful one, winning the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) over Goldencents in a terrific fight to the wire July 28 at Del Mar.
Danger was averted during the second race at Santa Anita Park Oct. 12 as a result of a loose horse running the wrong way up the homestretch. The race, a six-furlong sprint for maiden 2-year-olds, was declared a no contest.
Last out claimer First Strike kept Thirtyfirststreet at bay in the stretch to score the $150,000 Zia Park Derby Dec. 3.
Favored Bench Points, charging from last in upper stretch, nosed Runflatout in a terrific finish to the Lazaro Berrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 15.
Disgruntled horse owner Jerry Jamgotchian, whose colt Past Tender was disqualified from victory in a July 28 race at Del Mar, has filed a conflict of interest complaint against one of the stewards involved and also protested the decision to the California Horse Racing Board.
Irish-bred Stratham rallied along the inside under jockey David Cohen to win Sunday's $100,000 Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Hollywood Park turf by three-quarters of a length over New Joysey Jeff, registering his third win in four North American starts.
Irish-bred Stratham's mild upset in Santa Anita's La Puente Stakes on Saturday contributed to the track's first three-day carryover in more than two years. A total of $1,126,445 is carrying into the pool for Easter Sunday's 1:30 p.m. program.
It's been quite a week for trainer Tim Yakteen. On Wednesday, he became a father for the first time when wife Millie Ball, an on-screen analyst for HRTV, delivered a son. Friday, on his 41st birthday, Yakteen saddled his first Del Mar winner since he started training on his own last summer in the $75,000 Daisycutter.
Sabiango got a wake-up call from jockey Brice Blanc after briefly surrendering the lead and the German-bred responded powerfully in the drive to register a three-length win in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs Saturday, the featured event in the track's turf festival.
Bob & Beverly Lewis' grade II winner Santa Catarina worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 1/5 handily over the turf course at Hollywood Park Thursday in preparation for the $750,000 American Oaks on July 5. With Hall of Famer Gary Stevens in the irons for trainer Bob Baffert, the 3-year-old filly was caught galloping out the six furlongs in 1:12 and change.
Golden Eagle Farm's General Challenge, eased in Saturday's Tiznow Stakes at Hollywood Park after battling on the front end, returned in good shape and will not be retired, according to an assistant for trainer Bob Baffert.
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