09/30/2013 11:34AM

Breeders' Cup Turf: Indy Point joins field with John Henry Turf Championship score

Michael Amoruso
Little Mike showed he's back in form with this win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Saturday.

Indy Point joined the list of leading contenders for the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 with his comprehensive win in Sunday’s $150,000 John Henry Turf Championship at the same track.

The win gave Indy Point’s backers a reason to forget his last-place finish as the favorite in the Arlington Million in August.

Ridden by Gary Stevens - who scored his fourth stakes win of the weekend - Indy Point won the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship by 1 1/4 lengths over Vagabond Shoes, another intended starter in the BC Turf.  Indy Point closed from sixth in a field of 12, finishing 1 1/4 miles on turf in 1:57.47. The course record of 1:57.16 was set by Red Giant in the 2008 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship, the previous name of the John Henry Turf Championship.

“He looks great,” trainer Richard Mandella said on Monday morning. “I don’t think you could have asked much more of him. I thought that was pretty impressive.”

Mandella said last week that Indy Point emerged from the Arlington Million “with banged up front feet.”
Indy Point won three Group 1 races in Argentina in 2012, including the Argentine Derby over about 1 9/16 miles. That win leaves Mandella confident that Indy Point can handle the BC Turf distance of 1 1/2 miles.

Indy Point joins Little Mike and Big Blue Kitten, the first two finishers of Saturday’s Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park, as leading domestic contenders for the BC Turf. The race is expected to have its customary international field, a group that will be better known after Sunday’s $6.4 million Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Last week, English trainer John Gosden said he hopes to start the 4-year-old filly The Fugue in the BC Turf. The Fugue won the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes against males at Leopardstown on Sept. 7. Last November, The Fugue was a troubled third in the BC Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita.