02/15/2015 7:49PM

Bench Warrant shows resolve with late-running win in Baffle Stakes

Benoit Photo
Bench Warrant wins the Baffle Stakes by a neck Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Bench Warrant closed from last of eight to win his first stakes in exciting fashion in Sunday’s $81,250 Baffle Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Bench Warrant trailed by 9 1/2 lengths after the opening quarter-mile and was still sixth with a furlong remaining. Baze guided Bench Warrant between horses through the stretch to catch the 10-1 Pain and Misery in the final strides and win by a neck.

Sent off favored, Bench Warrant ($5.80) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:12.43.

Pain and Misery, a stakes winner at Zia Park in New Mexico last October, finished second in his California debut after leading in the stretch. Pain and Misery finished a length in front of Diamond Majesty, who was followed by Jazzy Josh, No Problem, Tizcano, Serbian Syclone, and Hit Lightning.

Serbian Syclone set torrid fractions of 20.91 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and a half-mile in 42.20 on the downhill portion of the course. Serbian Syclone led by two lengths with a furlong remaining but was quickly caught.

“They were flying, and it looked like they were 20 lengths in front of me,” Baze said.

Bench Warrant races for Doubledown Stables and trainer John Sadler. A colt by Street Boss, Bench Warrant has won 3 of 6 starts and earned $177,060. Bench Warrant was purchased for $110,000 at the 2014 Barretts March Sale of 2-year-olds in training.

The Baffle Stakes was Bench Warrant’s third appearance in a stakes. He was fourth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity in December and the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes here Feb. 1. In between, Bench Warrant won an optional claimer on the hillside turf course in his debut on the surface Jan. 15, a victory that made him the favorite Sunday.