02/18/2006 1:00AM

Baffert colt posts solid win


ALBANY, Calif. - Point Determined, considered one of trainer Bob Baffert's primary Kentucky Derby hopefuls, scored a 1 1/2-length victory in an $80,000 optional claimer at one mile Friday at Golden Gate Fields.

A $750,000 Barretts purchase last March by Bob and Beverly Lewis, Point Determined won for the second time in four career starts.

Flat-footed at the break, Point Determined got away last under jockey Russell Baze. He sat off Dr. Einstein and R Fat Man, while racing three wide all the way around the track.

He wore down Dr. Einstein at the quarter pole, but Dr. Einstein's stablemate, Passive Income, made a move along the rail at the same time. Although the inside was playing better, Point Determined ($2.40) began to open up after they dueled for 50 yards inside the eighth pole and he was pulling away at the end.

His time for the mile was 1:36.12 over a wet-fast track.

"They told me he was a big, kinda lazy horse who would respond when I asked him," said Baze, who let the colt settle and stalk just as Baffert wanted. "When I gave him a crack, he responded.

"He does what you ask him to do. When he does it on his own, he'll be a good horse."