07/14/2012 4:53PM

Belmont Park: Point of Entry scores in Man o' War

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Barbara D. Livingston
Point of Entry, with Jose Lezcano riding, takes the Man o' War.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Point of Entry continued his ascension through the male turf division with a good-looking, 3 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park.

After stalking Center Divider through pedestrian fractions, Point of Entry, under Jose Lezcano, took over at the eighth pole and bounded clear for a relatively easy score.

Center Divider held second by one length over Tahoe Lake. Newsdad was fourth, followed by 4-5 favorite Treasure Beach, Hudson Steele, and Game Ball. Philly Ace scratched.

The win was the first Grade 1 victory for Point of Entry and his third consecutive stakes score. Point of Entry is a 4-year-old homebred son of Dynaformer owned by the Phipps Stable and trained by Shug McGaughey. He is a half-brother to the Grade 1 winner Pine Island.

Point of Entry raced within a length of Center Divider through fractions of 26.10 seconds, 52.05, 1:16.68, and 1:40.02 for the opening mile before taking control.

Point of Entry covered the 1 3/8 miles in 2:13.87 and returned $7.90 as the second choice.

"I think he's a pretty good horse," McGaughey said. "Jose rode him great. When Center Divider broke on the lead he laid right up there with him. [Lezcano] said he was relaxed and galloping along. He said at the five-eighths pole something sort of came up there and he just sort of eased into the bridle, kept him in the clear. I though it all worked out really well."

McGaughey said that Point of Entry would most likely be pointed to the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga on Aug. 18.

"I think we saw a step forward today," McGaughey said. "Hopefully, when we get to Saratoga and everything goes right we'll see another one in him."

Treasure Beach, shipping in from Ireland for trainer Aidan O'Brien, was quite disappointing as the favorite. Under Jamie Spencer, he raced in sixth position early, but moved up only one position at the finish. Treasure Beach, a multiple Grade/Group 1 winner at 3, was beaten 10 1/4 lengths and is now 0 for 3 this year.

"He was moving fine, he just didn't do anything," Spencer said. "I asked him to go three [furlongs] out and try and go around one, and he couldn't even get by that one horse in front. You could blame the pace, it was quite a bit steady, but he was quite a bit rank early, so I had to get him back."