08/05/2010 7:31AM

Bench Points outfinishes Graduation rivals


DEL MAR, Calif. - Bench Points remained unbeaten after two starts with a sharp rally through the stretch of Wednesday’s $100,000 Graduation Stakes at Del Mar.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Bench Points closed from seventh in a field of 10 while saving ground throughout to outfinish Joy Boy by 2 3/4 lengths. Blingboy finished third, with 2-1 favorite Stormin Rae sixth.

Bench Points ($6.60) ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.79. Bejarano kept Bench Points on the rail until midstretch when he rallied between Joy Boy and Blingboy

The Graduation Stakes, restricted to statebreds, was Bench Points’s first start since a maiden win against California-breds at Hollywood Park on June 5. Owned by Don Crevier, Linda Mariani, Charles Martin and Mary Jo Zuraitis and trained by Tim Yakteen, Bench Points, a colt by Benchmark, has earned $84,600.

Yakteen said after the race that the $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes for statebreds over six furlongs on Sept. 6 or the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs on Sept. 8 are possibilities for Bench Points’s next start.