06/10/2013 4:39PM

DRF Breeding Weekend Wrap: Point of Entry, Fast Bullet lead stars on Belmont undercard

Email
Justin N. Lane
Homebred Stephanie's Kitten scored another Grade 1 win for Ramsey Farm sire Kitten's Joy.

Saturday’s Belmont Stakes undercard assisted in clarifying several divisions as the North American summer racing season unofficially began.

Phipps Stable homebred Point of Entry outgamed Optimizer to win the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths, earning a 104 Beyer Speed Figure over turf rated yielding following a deluge of precipitation that covered the Northeast hours earlier. The multiple Grade 1 winner and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up outclassed his competition on less than optimum course conditions; unfortunately, he suffered a slight condylar fracture of his left hind cannon bone during the race and will be sidelined until the fall in the best case scenario, according to trainer Shug McGaughey.

Frank Stronach purchased part of Point of Entry earlier this year and will stand him at Adena Springs upon retirement.

Point of Entry has maintained top-level form since last spring, with wins in seven of his last eight starts, four of them in Grade 1 stakes. By the late and elite sire Dynaformer, he is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Matlacha Pass — a finalist for 2012 Broodmare of the Year — and is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Pine Island. Matlacha Pass is a full sister to both Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home and to multiple Grade 2 winner Country Hideaway, the dam of Grade 2 winner Boca Grande and Grade 3 winner Vacation.

The highest Beyer of the weekend went to Fast Bullet, who returned impressively from a seven-month layoff with a 2 1/2-length win in the Grade 2 True North Handicap. The 6-year-old son of champion sprinter Speightstown bested Zayat Stables entry mate Justin Phillip in the six-furlong sprint, covering the distance in 1:08.27 and scoring a 110 Beyer. He picked up his first stakes win, and fourth victory from five career starts.

Bred in Kentucky by Roy Gottlieb, Fast Bullet is out of the winning Dayjur mare Renfro Valley Star and is a half-brother to Grade 3-placed winner Blairs Roarin Star. His second dam is champion and Breeders’ Cup winner Brave Raj; among her 11 winning foals are stakes winners Bravo Bull and Russian Tango, the latter of whom is the dam of Grade 2 winner and sire Eurosilver.

Stephanie’s Kitten backed up her comeback win in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard with a game half-length victory over Better Lucky in the Grade 1 Just a Game. Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred daughter of Kitten’s Joy covered one mile in 1:36.27 and earned a 101 Beyer. She now has six stakes wins, including two Grade 1s, and has earned over $1.5 million to date. Stephanie’s Kitten is out of the unraced Catienus mare Unfold the Rose, and her second dam is Grade 1 winner Bail Out Becky. Another close relation is Peruvian champion and last year’s Super Derby runner up Fly Lexis Fly.

In the Grade 2 Woody Stephens for 3-year-old sprinters, Forty Tales rallied late to best Declan’s Warrior by a half-length in a close four-horse finish. The Tale of the Cat colt stopped the timer at 1:22.47 and earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure; he entered off of a neck win in the one-mile Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill. Forty Tales is out of stakes-placed winner Forty Love, by Forty Niner, and is a full brother to stakes-placed winner Face the Cat and a half-brother Grade 2-placed multiple stakes winner Bear Character. Grade 2 winners Banned and Masseuse are among his notable extended family members.

While several of Bob Baffert’s early Triple Crown candidates did not make an impact on this year’s trio of classic races, one of his highly regarded runners from last fall, Grade 1 winner Power Broker, served notice that he will be a factor in the 3-year-old division going forward with a 3 3/4-length win in the Easy Goer Stakes, the first of Saturday’s stakes races at Belmont. Power Broker, by the late Claiborne sire Pulpit, earned a 99 Beyer in the Easy Goer, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.55. He has now won two races in a row since his disappointing fifth-place run in the Santa Anita Derby. The colt is out of the stakes-winning Wild Again mare Shop Again. He is a three-quarter brother to Grade 2 winner Trappe Shot and a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Miss Shop and to stakes winner Bought In Dixie.

Weekend notes: In the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood, 5-year-old Tale of a Champion picked up his first graded stakes win by one length over All Squared Away, giving Tale of the Cat two graded wins over the weekend. He covered 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.27 under Joe Talamo and earned a 95 Beyer. Trainer Kristin Mulhall told Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen that the horse would be pointed to even longer distance races this summer in Southern California, with the 1 1/2-mile Sunset Handicap at Hollywood in July a possible next start.

Bred in Kentucky by Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel, Tale of a Champion is out of the winning Seattle Slew mare If Angels Sing and is a full brother to Argentine Group 3 winner Ilusora. His second dam, multiple Grade 2 winner Chapel of Dreams, is a half-sister to the recently departed legendary sire Storm Cat. Notable stakes winners from her produce line include Grade/Group 1 winners Ticker Tape, Reckless Abandon, and Crowded House and Grade 2 winners Juniper Pass and Postponed.

Although Kentucky Derby winner Orb, owned by Phipps Stable with Stuart Janney and trained by Shug McGaughey, could only muster third in the Belmont Stakes, Phipps and McGaughey still enjoyed a good weekend with Point of Entry’s win and a strong 1 1/4-length score by Boisterous in the Monmouth Stakes on Sunday. Boisterous, a 6-year-old by Distorted Humor, tallied his seventh stakes win in the 1 1/8-mile Monmouth Stakes, six of them graded. He earned a 94 Beyer in the turf event, finishing up in 1:48.84. Boisterous is out of Grade 1-placed stakes winner Emanating, by Cox’s Ridge and is a half-brother to Grade 3-placed winner Peyton. Other relatives include Met Mile winner and sire Gold Fever, Grade 3 winner and sire Out of Place, and Grade 3 winner Lead Kindly Light.