10/08/2011 8:27AM

Fresno: Point of Reference up in time to take Harvest Stakes


Point of Reference, last for the first half-mile, made up 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch to edge odds-on favorite California Nectar and Alaska Miss by a neck in the $63,350 Harvest Stakes at the Big Fresno Fair on Friday.

Point of Reference, making her first start since winning the California State Fair Sprint in Sacramento on July 16, was not asked early by jockey Inoel Beato as she trailed her five rivals in the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares.

California Nectar, who sat comfortably, a half-length behind pacesetting Izzy Rules, took over in the stretch and looked as if she would open up on her rivals.

But Beato eased Point of Reference wide in the stretch for a clear run down the middle of the track. Alaska Miss also kicked into gear as Izzy Rules began to fade.

The 3-year-old graded stakes-winning California Nectar tried to hang on, but she ran the final eighth of the mile in a pedestrian 13.80 seconds and was beaten a neck by the fast finishing Point of Reference. Alaska Miss dead-heated with California Nectar for second.

Point of Reference, a Jack or Ivor Jones homebred trained by Frank Lucarelli, paid $5.40 and was timed in 1:10.91. She earned $40,450 for her third straight victory. The 5-year-old Benchmark mare has now earned $328,707 with 10 wins in 27 starts.