07/28/2013 8:55PM

Del Mar: Points Offthebench wins Bing Crosby to give Yakteen first Grade 1 score

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Benoit & Associates
Points Offthebench (inside), making his stakes debut Sunday, beats Goldencents by a head in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes.

DEL MAR, Calif. – A day after winning the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, Mike Smith completed a coast-to-coast, Grade 1 double by guiding Points Offthebench to a mild upset victory in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes on Sunday at Del Mar, giving trainer Tim Yakteen his first Grade 1 victory.

Points Offthebench ($8.80) was the fourth choice among six runners in his stakes debut. Smith settled him into fourth place early in the six-furlong race, they hit the front a furlong out, and they were fully extended to stave off Goldencents and win by a head in 1:09.04 on Polytrack.

Jimmy Creed was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third and was followed by Majestic City, Comma to the Top, and the longshot Coach Bob, who set the early pace before tiring.

A $200,000 bet was made to show on Comma to the Top at Santa Anita, stewards reported. Because of that, there were slightly inflated show prices ($8.40, $6.60, and $7.20) on the first three finishers in the small field.

Smith said Yakteen gave him two specific instructions that helped: “Be careful not to hit the front too soon, because he pulls himself up, and help him switch leads.”

Points Offthebench, 4, was pointed to the Bing Crosby by Yakteen following a second-level allowance win at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 27. That gave him a record of four wins in six starts, with two of the wins coming against California-breds. Yakteen, who trains the Benchmark gelding for Donnie Crevier and Charles Martin, decided to go in the Bing Crosby after a pair of strong workouts here.

“It was a pretty deep group, but he trained well, and he drew a great post,” Yakteen said, referring to Pointsoffthebench landing the outside post. “I’ve been around Grade 1 winners lots of times for other trainers. This is much sweeter. It’s a real special feeling.”

Smith, modest as usual, downplayed his continued good fortune this year, which has included major wins on Palace Malice, Game On Dude, and Royal Delta, among others.

“I’m so humbled, so blessed,” he said. “This is incredible. I feel very fortunate. I feel like I should give something away.”

Gomez More than 1 year ago
Add Fast Bullet and Roman Threat to this group and the west looks all set for the BC Sprint.
John More than 1 year ago
Hey Raider-Fan, for my sake, thankgoodness someone like Espinoza or Eddie D wasnt on "cents".....................he came like a rocket, thought I was dead 1/2 way down the lane . I think next out, he gets at least Mario Gutierrez
TheRaiderFan More than 1 year ago
I didn't wager on the race but I found my self yelling at my TV during the race wondering what the hell Krigger was going. I respect Doug O'Neill a lot for giving lesser known jocks a chance to make a name for themselves like Mario did last year, but come on. Would love to see Mario ride Goldencents next time out, he seems to be on a real roll from the end of Hollywood Park through now.
David Sias More than 1 year ago
I did the same thing, he had all the horse that day.
TheRaiderFan More than 1 year ago
Kevin Krigger is a dump truck that has no business riding a horse like Goldencents
John More than 1 year ago
I had Pointsoffthebench, but Goldencents was just as impressive ! If you had seen his early race back east last year against Shanghai Bobby, he gunned to the lead, fought Bobby thru the stretch, then swung out and tried to re-rally, all in just his 2nd race. I said to a friend of mine, if they concentrate on short, this horse is going to be special ! The way he rallied from way back, out wide in the quicksand, puts a new demension into this horse. Can you say Breeders Cup sprint. Sad sad track................................I could win from the 1 box against Secretariat !
John More than 1 year ago
Im not sure how much the best Pointsoffthe bench was because this freaking track bias is INSANE ! If you look at the charts, you would have had a nice day just playing (boxing) the inside 4 boxes all day. Even the horses that are rallying, other than Pointsoffthebench are sitting inside and waiting for an opening. Rallying wide is like running in quicksand, thats why this win is impressive (4 wide move ). Anytime you have a Grade 1 winner folding like a cheap tent the way Comma to the Top did, the track needs serious examination. This polycrap is going to cost the city and business of Del Mar and surrounding communities millions of dollars if they dont go back to normal, all american DIRT ! Why ? Because the Breeders Cup has said, "yes we are interested in Del Mar, no we are not interested in your fake track, or "poly crap " Lets get back to dirt, that way we have Santa Anita dirt, and Del Mar dirt, form will re appear .
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
Poly Crap? Guess if you could actually handicap that wouldn't be a problem.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Or Cushion Track. I repeat it whenever I can, but if you are a track that doesn't want dirt, put in Cushion Track like what Hollywood Park has. Do you ever hear any complaining from anybody about the bias or safety of Hollywood's Cushion? And unlike Del Mar, it is easy for dirt horses to transfer their form to Cushion and more difficult for turf horses to do the same, although if the turf horse is versatile enough(like Byrama) it can have success on it(unlike a turf horse trying to win on the Santa Anita dirt). Btw, Comma bruised a foot in the Crosby. That makes sense because he usually fights more than that.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
It's not nearly as bad as you portray it, and if it prevents horse injuries I'm all for it. I'm doing well at Del Mar, and pretty much limit my bias assessment to when the temperatures go way up, because that melts the wax in the surface. Your indirect suggestion that SA has no bias is perhaps a little ... biased?
Walter More than 1 year ago
John makes some great points. If you folks only knew the reason why All Weather Tracks were mandated in CA it would make you sick. Go research it. It wasn't about safety, it was about money and payola. Del Mar is the very last place where PolyTrack is needed. The weather is very consistent & it rarely rains. And horses do get injured on it. The injuries consist of soft tissue, joint, back, & hips. Go ask your trainers & vets.
morton erskine More than 1 year ago
This was a superb ride by Mike Smith ........ As I stated before..Comma to the top... it is just a matter of time before the piper has to be paid for those front wraps !!!
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
He wears front wraps, because he hits his legs sometimes. There is nothing wrong with him. The wraps are protection only. Its been stated a dozen times. He was cooked by Coach Bob. end of story. Plus he's not grade 1 caliber. He's an excellent horse, but grade 2 at best.
Christopher Clark More than 1 year ago
That's why he didn't switch to his right lead... the horse has had some tough races this year, safe too say it has taken it's toll a bit
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Comma bruised a foot in the race. Nothing structural. He's worn front wraps for most of his career. That's 30+ starts. Since he returned from his one injury suffered in the Derby, have you been commenting for the subsequent 19 races predicting the next race would be the race when the piper would be paid? I guess you will eventually be right if you keep on doing that. The fact is, he's already had 33 starts. That's more races than most good horses ever make. And he's just five. So, he's been running frequently for four years. Even if he doesn't make another start, he's already run more races than most good horses will ever run. Contrary to your theory, the piper hasn't been paid that much following Comma around.
kram hslew More than 1 year ago
mike smith is the nuts. I wonder if the baffert camp is struggling with a rider change for game on dude now that Chantal is back tearing it up?
Peter May More than 1 year ago
Much respect to the winner and his connections. I'm not sure it mattered either way as good as the winner and Goldencents were yesterday, but Comma to the Top is a balls-to-the-wall speed horse. He guns and goes as far as his heart will take him. So why the heck when he broke clean and cleared to the inside did Maldonado wait? He's just gotta go, and take them as far as he can. I say that with no money wagered on the race. But that was a poor ride by Maldonado.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Coach Bob is a freaking rocket for a quarter mile. That was the undoing of Comma. Plus POTB and Goldencents are faster.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Bottom claiming females ran a faster first quarter next race than the Bing Crosby. The pace was not that fast for the Crosby, which is one reason for the mediocre final time. Comma broke like a quarter horse and then Maldonado applied the breaks trying to back up the pace.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Agree completely. Prior to the Triple Bend, Maldonado commented about how he really studied Comma's effort in the Tom Fool at Aqueduct, when Comma set a slow pace and then fought off challengers. Unfortunately, the last two races Maldonado has ridden him like that, slowing the pace down, bunching up the field, and trying to outfight everyone in the stretch. But you are correct, that really is not Comma's game. The Tom Fool victory was probably more about Comma's class and talent advantage than tactics. Against elite sprinters Comma is not going to be able to back up the pace and then outkick everyone else. Finishing has never been Comma's strength. Even as a two year old, Comma's style has been to open up on the turn and hold on, just as you wrote. Baffling ride.
Christopher Clark More than 1 year ago
Tim did a great job with horse after the time congrats... this horse has grown up hope he stays there for you..
grayposse More than 1 year ago
To the person(s) who put the whopping show money on Comma (over 215,000 to show), THANK YOU!!! Was happy to lay the money on Golden Cents!! Mike Smith hottest jockey on planet this weekend!!!