08/08/2011 3:23PM

Del Mar: Bench Points, Chiloquin follow different paths to Real Good Deal Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
Bench Points (left) overpowers Runflatout to win the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park. Bench Points will be favored in Wednesday’s Real Good Deal Stakes against Cal-breds at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Although they were raised together on the same farm in Oregon, well-bred Bench Points and nickel-bred Chiloquin otherwise shared little in common.

It was no surprise that the geldings went in different directions. Bench Points burst onto the scene early, winning two stakes at Del Mar; Chiloquin won a maiden-claimer at Fairplex Park. Bench Points won his first four races; Chiloquin won one of four.

Early on, Bench Points and Chiloquin seemed unlikely to meet on the track. That is, until Wednesday at Del Mar.

“They were in the same paddock together, and now they are next to each other” in the same race, Bench Points’s trainer Tim Yakteen said.

Bench Points and Chiloquin start side by side Wednesday in the $100,000 Real Good Deal, an appealing seven-furlong race for California-bred 3-year-olds. Multiple stakes winner Bench Points is the right favorite, but he will be tested by blue-collar Chiloquin.

Scott Hansen trains and owns Chiloquin in partnership with breeder Carl Asadurian, whose ranch near Klamath Falls, Ore., is where Bench Points and Chiloquin were raised. Hansen recognized the challenge when he purchased a half-interest in Chiloquin.

“His family tree is zilch, there is nothing there,” Hansen said. “But his half-sister is [claiming filly] Makit Till Midnite, and I liked her so much. We thought we could win a maiden-claimer.”

Chiloquin finished fourth in his debut in a $32,000 maiden-claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 5, the day after Bench Points roared home in the $100,000 Graduation Stakes. Chiloquin won next out, then finished third. Jockey Martin Pedroza suggested to Hansen that the son of Tribal Rule might need blinkers.

“I thought he should be better than he was, he was kind of looking at everything,” Hansen said. “As soon as I put blinkers on him, he improved.”

Chiloquin won a maiden-40 starter and an allowance before Hansen stretched him out.

“We tried him long, but he’s just a better sprinter,” Hansen said.

The last two starts by Chiloquin, runner-up finishes against older, stamp him as a player Wednesday.

Chiloquin is stabled at San Luis Rey; he shipped last week to Del Mar and had a better-than-looked half-mile workout Friday over the surface.

“He worked awesome, he went as easily as he could go,” Hansen said.

Chiloquin has won three races and $126,784 from 11 starts, which leaves him well behind the Real Good Deal favorite.

Bench Points has won five races and $278,280 from eight starts and is undefeated in sprints against his age group. A son of Benchmark with graded stakes in his female family, Bench Points meets easier after a July 2 fiasco against older in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park.

“He had a meltdown in the paddock,” Yakteen said. “He got real upset, and it continued on the track.”

Since that race, Bench Points has settled down and worked well.

“Since he’s been down here, he’s been doing absolutely fantastic,” Yakteen said. “He loves Del Mar, he loves being down here.”

Rafael Bejarano rides Bench Points, who is expected to start favored in the field of eight.

Other entrants include Thirtyfirststreet, Spud Spivens, Gregor, Warren’s Knockout, Lucky Mr. K. and Luckarack.