10/27/2005 11:00PM

Yankee Master romps to Bourbon County score

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Bill Straus
Yankee Master, with Rafael Bejarano riding, wins by five lengths in the Bourbon County, just his second start.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Yankee Master made the demanding jump from maiden victory to stakes company look easy in the $125,000 at Keeneland Friday, winning by five lengths.

Confidently ridden by Rafael Bejarano, who won four races on the day, Yankee Master was rated in fourth early, as Hyte Regency raced on the lead with moderate fractions of 47.63 and 1:12.98 in the 1 1/16-mile turf contest. Around the turn Yankee Master began to pick up ground on the leaders, and once into the stretch, the race was essentially over.

Yankee Master cut to the inside of Hyte Regency and drew off as much the best in front of a crowd of 13,942. Wedding Singer rallied late, outfinishing Desert Wheat for the runner-up position.

"He's a very smart colt," said winning trainer Linda Rice. "He does everything right."

Yankee Master, a 2-year-old son of Yankee Victor, won for the second time in as many starts. His first win came Sept. 24 in a straight maiden race at Belmont Park, by a margin of three lengths.

He ran 1 1/16 miles on a good course in 1:43.85 on Friday, paying $5.80 as the favorite in the field of eight. He earned $77,500, pushing his earnings to $103,900 for owner Team Power Play Racing.

Former Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones bred the winner, along with two other winners on Friday's 10-race card at Keeneland.