03/18/2011 4:33PM

Bench Points targets Santa Anita Derby


Bench Points, third in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in his graded stakes debut on March 12, is expected to return in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9, trainer Tim Yakteen said.

In the San Felipe over 1 1/16 miles, Bench Points closed from eighth to finish nine lengths behind Premier Pegasus, who finished 7 3/4 lengths clear of runner-up Jaycito. For Bench Points, the champion California-bred 2-year-old colt of 2010, the San Felipe was his first loss in five starts.

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“We’ll look extensively at the Santa Anita Derby and see how the field comes together,” Yakteen said. “I’m nominated to everything. I’ve got a million reasons to stay here.”

Sadler said that Runflatout, who finished last of 10 in the San Felipe Stakes as the 5-2 second choice on March 12, is essentially off the Kentucky Derby trail. Sadler said that Runflatout emerged from the race with concern over the stifle, and that the $200,000 Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial Stakes over a mile at Churchill Downs on April 30 could be the colt’s next start.

Daytona’s comeback delayed again

Daytona, a six-time stakes winner in 2007-08, was withdrawn from Friday’s Joe Hernandez Stakes because of a bruised foot, Hendricks said. The Hernandez would have been Daytona’s first start since a 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile here in October 2008, a layoff caused by a variety of injuries.

Hendricks said the latest setback is likely to only postpone the 7-year-old gelding’s comeback.

“We’ve waited two and a half years, why not two and a half years and two weeks,” Hendricks said.

◗ Santa Anita is adding racing on Wednesdays to its calendar beginning this week, and will offer racing on a five-day a week basis, from Wednesday through Sunday, through the end of the meeting on April 17. The track has offered racing on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis for most weeks since Dec. 26.