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PointsOffthebench wins Bing Crosby Handicap

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DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) - PointsOffthebench took the lead at the top of the stretch and narrowly held off a late charge from favorite Goldencents to win the $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap on Sunday at Del Mar.

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Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith for trainer Tim Yakteen, PointsOffthebench was fourth early, entered the stretch four-wide and nearly lost the lead but won by a head, covering six furlongs on the main track in 1:09.04.

The 4-year-old PointOffthebench was running in his first ever stakes, and gave Yakteen his first Grade 1 win in eight years of saddling horses.

``I didn't think I'd have to wait this long,'' Yakteen said. ``He ran huge and Mike gave him a great ride.''

It was Smith's second graded stakes win of the weekend, and the victories came on opposite coasts. He also won Saturday in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga in New York.

The winner paid $8.80, $4.20 and $8.40. Goldencents, the Santa Anita Derby winner who was making his first start since finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness Stakes, returned $3.60 and $6.60. Jimmy Creed was a distant third and paid $7.20 to show.

PointsOffthebench, a California-bred gelding, earned $180,000 for the win, nearly doubling his lifetime bankroll to $364,940.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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