10/24/2012 2:37PM

Breeders' Cup Turf: Point of Entry gives America a strong contender

Tom Keyser
Point of Entry, based in New York, will bring a five-race winning streak - four of them graded stakes - into the Breeders' Cup Turf.

This may be the year the Breeders’ Cup Turf trophy stays in the United States for a change.

European-based runners have won the last four, and six of the last seven runnings of the nation’s richest grass race. For the $3 million BC Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, the New York-based colt Point of Entry will be favored to keep the prize at home.

Trained by Shug McGaughey for Phipps Stable, Point of Entry will start in the BC Turf on the strength of a four-race winning streak in graded stakes in Kentucky and New York since April. He leads a domestic team that includes the California stakes winner Slim Shadey, the Grade 1 winner Turbo Compressor, and possibly the top 3-year-old Dullahan.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: Pre-entered fields with odds and comments]

Foreign-based runners will certainly have a presence in the BC Turf, which is run over 1 1/2 miles.

Pre-entries for the BC Turf were announced Wednesday, and five of the 14 runners are based outside of the United States – defending champion St Nicholas Abbey, the Group 1 winners Shareta, The Fugue, and Treasure Beach, and the Group 2 winner Trailblazer.

St Nicholas Abbey, trained by Aidan O’Brien, was 11th in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris on Oct. 7. O’Brien also trains Treasure Beach, the winner of the 2011 Irish Derby and the runner-up to Point of Entry in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 29.

The list of foreign hopefuls does not include Sea Moon, who was second in the 2011 BC Turf, or Chinchon, who won the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park in 2010. They were beaten in their last starts: Sea Moon was eighth in the Arc, while Chinchon was fifth In the Prix du Counseil de Paris on Oct. 21. They are expected to start in the Hong Kong Vase in Hong Kong in December.

The race is not expected to have 14 starters. The Fugue was pre-entered in the BC Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 2, with that race as her first preference. Little Mike, the winner of the Arlington Million in August, has the BC Mile as a first preference. Dullahan, who won the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August, could start in the BC Classic on dirt, pending a workout on Santa Anita’s main track on Saturday.

The foreign runners are scheduled to arrive in California on Saturday and Monday.

On Sunday, the longshot Kindergarden Kid will join California trainer Peter Miller’s stable from Kentucky. A 5-year-old gelding by Dynaformer, Kindergarden Kid was recently acquired by Kevin and Colleen Bamford and David Bernsen.

The winner of the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 18, Kindergarden Kid was third behind Point of Entry and Treasure Beach in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.