Updated on 09/15/2011 12:23PM

Flash recap: Point Given wins by 12 1/4


ELMONT, N.Y. - The rubber match between Preakness winner Point Given and Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos turned out to be no match as Point Given romped to an 12 1/4-length victory over runner-up A P Valentine in Saturday's 133rd running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.

This was the first Belmont since 1994 that featured a rematch between the Derby and Preakness winners, and Point Given did not disappoint his backers.

After finishing fifth as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, The Thoroughbred Corporation's Point Given bounced back with an impressive Preakness victory.

In the Belmont, Point Given confirmed he is indeed the country's top 3-year-old with his landslide victory. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Monarchos in third and Dollar Bill was fourth. The order of finish was rounded out by Invisible Ink, Thunder Blitz, Buckle Down Ben, Balto Star, and Dr Greenfield.

Point Given, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Gary Stevens,

covered the 1 1/2-mile distance in a time of 2:26.56, the fourth fastest time in Belmont history. He paid $4.70 to win as the post-time favorite in the field of nine.

"He put on a show today. He was a superstar and the fastest horse," said Stevens. "I can't help but think what might have been if he had won the Derby. He could have had a Triple Crown next to his name. He's a champion. I know now I've been on the greatest horse I'll ever sit on."

Baffert, in capturing the Belmont for the first time, has now won two legs of the Triple Crown three times since 1997. He captured the Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Silver Charm in 1997 and Real Quiet in 1998, but both horses finished second in the Belmont.

"It was not his day Derby Day, but today he showed what he's really made of," said Baffert of Point Given. [Owner Prince] Ahmed could have fired me after the Derby, but he had a good day in the Preakness and a good day today. We'll have a lot of fun with him the rest of the year. He'll get better with age."

Point Given became the 45th horse to win two legs of the Triple Crown and 17th to take just the Preakness and Belmont.

For native New Yorker Nick Zito, trainer of A P Valentine, the 2001 Belmont marked the fifth time one of his horses has finished second in the final leg of the Triple Crown.