FAVORED MARK OF A GEM SHOWS WAY IN $58,000 ANACAPA PURSE; SMITH GUIDES BENCHMARK FILLY TO NECK WIN AS TRAINER YAKTEEN REGISTERS SECOND WIN ON CARD

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 10, 2014)–Sent from the gate by Mike Smith, favored Mark of a Gem carved out fractions of 21.31, 43.11 and 1:06.05 en route to a diminishing neck victory in Thursday’s $58,000 Anacapa Purse allowance, getting 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.30.

The top choice at 2-1 in a field of nine California-bred or sired older fillies and mares and trained by Tim Yakteen, Mark of a Gem came off a tough nose defeat down the hill at the same first condition allowance level on March 16, but was able to establish a length and a half advantage turning for home in the Anacapa.

“This time, I was a little more aggressive early on, hoping I could take advantage of the lead and then give her just a little breather between the three eighths pole and the quarter pole and go again when they came to her,” said Smith. “It worked out well today.”

Owned by Richard S. Pasko, Mark of a Gem broke her maiden down the hillside four starts back on Feb. 24, 2013 and registered her second win from seven starts today. She paid $6.00, $4.00 and $3.80. A 4-year-old filly by Benchmark, she picked up $34,800 for the win, increasing her earnings to $90,450.

Yakteen, who won Thursday’s first race with Newfound Gold, registered his second win on the card.

Sixth, 5 ½ lengths off the lead after a quarter mile and roughly 4 ¼ lengths back crossing the dirt at the top of the lane, Jade With Envy rallied to be a fast finishing second under Tyler Baze, finishing one length in front of longshot Vegas Rules.

Off at 7-1, Jade With Envy paid $8.20 and $7.60.

Far back early, Vegas Rules rallied wide-out through the lane and finished third, a half length in front of Noise of the Crowd. Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Vegas Rules was off at 33-1 and paid $14.80 to show.

Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.