Posted: Sunday March 17, 2013 9:18 PM

Bench Glory wins Irish O'Brien at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Bench Glory ran down 2-1 favorite Ismene in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $100,000 Irish O'Brien Stakes for older California-bred fillies and mares by 11/4 lengths on Sunday at Santa Anita after a 50-week layoff.

Ridden by Brice Blanc, Bench Glory covered 61/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:12.02 and paid $32.40, $12 and $6.60 at 15-1 odds.

Ismene returned $6 and $4.60 in her turf debut, while Dancingtothestars was another 11/4 lengths back in third and paid $3.20 to show.

Bench Glory had been idle since winning on the turf last March 30. Trainer Sean McCarthy, who earned his first stakes win at Santa Anita, said she had some aches and pains, so he decided to give her 120 days off.

"First time out after a long layoff like this, you never know," Blanc said. "She liked the course and was ready. She's super-special. She put me in the race like she always does and came with that strong kick."

The victory, worth $60,000, increased Bench Glory's career earnings to 209,272, with four wins in 10 starts.
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