04/27/2012 5:01PM

Keeneland: Point of Entry returns quickly to take Elkhorn

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Point of Entry, ridden by John Velazquez, captures the closing-day feature at Keeneland, the Elkhorn Stakes.

LEXINGTON, Ky.  – Racing for the second time in 15 days, Point of Entry surged to the lead in midstretch of Friday’s Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes on the turf at Keeneland to post his first stakes win, beating an accomplished field of eight runners.

A son of Dynaformer bred and owned by the Phipps Stable, Point of Entry ($13.20) ran the 1 1/2 miles on the firm turf in time of 2:29.45, beating the 15-1 outsider Tahoe Lake by 1 1/2 lengths. Simmard, the second choice, was three-quarters of a length back in third.

Musketier, the 10-year-old gelding who had won the last two runnings of the Elkhorn, finished fourth. The gray was making his 46th start of his career. Center Divider, running out of the 9 post, unseated rider Robby Albarado at the start, but both appeared fine after the incident.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Point of Entry lingered just off the early pacesetters in the first mile while running on the rail. He did not begin picking off horses until the final turn, when he was swung wide around the two early pacesetters and surged powerfully to the lead.

“He handled everything very well,” Velazquez said. “As soon as I pulled him out, he ran right away.”

Point of Entry had won a second level allowance race on the turf at Keeneland at the same distance as the Elkhorn on April 12, 15 days prior to the stakes. In that race, he was at one point 26 lengths behind the leaders before drawing off to a 1 ¼-length victory in time of 2:27.57, two seconds faster than his Elkhorn win.

Shug  McGaughey, Point of Entry’s trainer, said that he does not normally like to run horses back so quickly, but the win in the April 12 race and a subsequent four-furlong workout over Keeneland’s artificial main track on April 22 convinced him the horse was ready to get back into the gate.

“I was a little bit worried about running him back that quick, but he had a real nice work the other day and he loved the course,” McGaughey said.

Newsdad, the even-money favorite in the race off a win in the Grade 2 Pam American Stakes at Gulfstream on March 24, finished fifth after battling with Simmard through the first mile.