01/30/2013 5:37PM

Gulfstream Park: Point of Entry under consideration for trip to Dubai

Barbara D. Livingston
Point of Entry will run Feb. 9 in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, and then could go to Dubai for the Sheema Classic.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Animal Kingdom may not be the only horse using the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9 as a possible stepping-stone for a race on the Dubai World Cup card six weeks later.

Trainer Graham Motion is using the Gulfstream Park Turf as a prep for Animal Kingdom for the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 30. His colleague, Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, confirmed Friday that he is considering taking Point of Entry to Dubai for the $5 million Sheema Classic, to be run at 1 1/2 miles on the grass at Meydan on World Cup Night.

The Phipps Stable sold an interest in homebred Point of Entry to Gulfstream Park’s chairman Frank Stronach in December. Point of Entry has not started since finishing a late-surging second behind Little Mike in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. That setback snapped a five-race winning streak for Point of Entry which included three Grade 1 victories.

“We’ve got Dubai penciled in on the schedule, but it’s not etched in stone, only the race on February 9th is etched in stone at this point,” McGaughey said by phone from Ocala, Fla., on Wednesday. “But the race in Dubai is a mile and one-half over firm turf for a lot of money, so it’s something we’ve been thinking about. He’ll run in the first one here and we’ll see after that.”

John Velazquez is the regular rider for Point of Entry. Velazquez is also named to ride Little Mike when he makes his 2013 debut on March 9 in Dubai. If both horses wind up running in the Sheema Classic, Velazquez would stay with Point of Entry and trainer Dale Romans will have to find another jockey for Little Mike, who could also be under consideration for the World Cup.