09/14/2013 2:16PM

Belmont Park notes: Point of Entry has first breeze since surgery

Barbara D. Livingston
Point of Entry has not raced since winning the Grade 1 Manhattan at Belmont Park on June 8.

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ELMONT, N.Y. – Though time is not on his side in terms of making it to the Breeders’ Cup, Point of Entry returned to the work tab Saturday, breezing three furlongs in 37.55 seconds over Belmont Park’s main track.

The work was the first for Point of Entry since he fractured a cannon bone in his left hind leg while winning the Grade 1 Manhattan at Belmont on June 8. The injury required surgery to insert two screws into the leg.

Point of Entry’s recovery – much of which was done at Niall Brennan’s farm in Ocala, Fla. – has gone smoothly, but trainer Shug McGaughey was noncommittal on whether Point of Entry could make it back to the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. He finished second to Little Mike in that race last year, his only loss in his last eight starts.

“The realistic goal is I’m going to see where he takes us,” McGaughey said Saturday. “If I feel he’s ready to run in the Breeders’ Cup, we’ll run him. If I don’t, we won’t.”

McGaughey did say he wouldn’t run Point of Entry before the Breeders’ Cup.

“I don’t think I need to,” McGaughey said. “I think he’ll be fine, especially running over that track. It won’t be nearly as taxing on him out there as if we ran here.”

McGaughey has been happy with what he’s seen in Point of Entry’s training since he arrived back at Belmont in early September, and he was particularly pleased with Saturday’s move.

“He went really well,” McGaughey said. “I was surprised how well he went. Not that he hadn’t been doing good, but he hadn’t done anything for a while. He was very professional. He breezed fine, galloped out fine. We’ll watch him today and tomorrow; everything being good, we’ll carry on.”

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Orb works for Jockey Club Gold Cup

While McGaughey oversaw Point of Entry’s work at Belmont, his Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, was at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, where he breezed five furlongs in 1:01 over the dirt course.

Jennifer Patterson, Orb’s regular exercise rider, who is overseeing McGaughey’s Fair Hill string, was aboard for the move, in which Orb got his final quarter-mile in 24 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.

In a text message to McGaughey, Patterson wrote, “Felt great, did it in bridle, with ears pricked. Very happy.”

Orb will have one more work, presumably Sept. 23 at Fair Hill, before shipping to Belmont for the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28.

◗ The Lumber Guy, pointing to a defense of his Vosburgh title, worked five furlongs in 59.47 at Belmont on Saturday. Artemis Agrotera, 11  3/4-length winner of her debut, worked four furlongs in 47.34 in preparation for the Grade 1 Frizette on Oct. 5. Both horses are trained by Mike Hushion.