Updated on 09/15/2011 12:59PM

A long, last look at Point Given

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Among those saying goodbye to Point Given Wednesday were groom Roberto Luna (right) and Prince Ahmed Salman.

DEL MAR, Calif. - With a crowd of adoring fans watching his every move, and many capturing the moment with their cameras, Point Given was paraded in the paddock and on the track on Wednesday afternoon, closing day at Del Mar.

Point Given was retired last week after injuring a tendon in his left front leg. He had not raced in California since the Santa Anita Derby, so this was a way for local fans to see the colt who, after beginning his racing career last summer at Del Mar, developed into the best 3-year-old in the land.

Point Given arrived in the paddock with the horses who participated in the third race. He was led by his groom, Roberto Luna, who had exercise rider Pepe Aragon lending assistance. Scores of fans lined the paddock, and got a terrific view of Point Given when the horses for the third left for the racecourse. Point Given looked magnificent, his chestnut coat shining despite the overcast conditions.

Bob Baffert, Point Given's trainer, said he had "mixed emotions" regarding the festivities.

"It's hard to see a horse like this retire so early," said Baffert, whose eyes welled with tears minutes later when a replay of Point Given's Belmont Stakes was shown on the infield video display monitor. "It's like snatching Tiger Woods off the PGA tour."

After the running of the third race, Point Given was brought onto the racetrack. Baffert stood on one side of Point Given, with the colt's owner, Prince Ahmed Salman, on the other. Salman, dressed in a white suit, gave the horse a kiss.

Point Given was then brought by Luna into the winner's circle for photos. He received his loudest cheer, though, when the Belmont Stakes replay was shown, the noise building as Point Given drew away in the stretch.

Flame Thrower retired

Flame Thrower, last year's Del Mar Futurity winner, has been officially retired and will go to stud next spring in Florida, his owner, Gary Garber, said Wednesday.

Flame Thrower won the first four starts of his career, including Oak Tree's Norfolk Stakes, before suffering a knee injury in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He missed the Triple Crown, and raced only twice this year, finishing second both times. He suffered a fractured cannon bone in Belmont Park's Riva Ridge Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard in his final start.

"He's going to be a stud," Garber said.

"It would be too risky to bring back a horse who runs that hard, with that kind of injury," said Baffert, who trained Flame Thrower.

Flame Thrower is currently recuperating at The Thoroughbred Corporation's farm in Bradbury, Calif., near Santa Anita.

Ancient Title next for Forest Camp?

Forest Camp, a disappointing fifth in his comeback race on Saturday at Del Mar, could make his next start in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 6, according to his trainer, Eduardo Inda.

"I think I babied him. He was short," Inda said. Forest Camp had not raced in more than 10 months. "He got tired. He pulled up very good. He'll be ready next time."

The Ancient Title is also the next likely start for champion sprinter Kona Gold, though his connections have said they will pass the race if Kona Gold is assigned more than 126 pounds. "I hope he doesn't run," Inda said, smiling.

* Chuck Graves, whose Huntington Ambulance provided emergency services for Southern California racetracks for more than 25 years, died early Wednesday morning in Huntington Beach, Calif., from complications of diabetes. He was 68.

Graves was a popular figure on the track, and became friendly with a number of jockeys, whom he helped in times of crisis. His family-run operation included his wife, Joyce, and daughters Stacey and Jessica. They are his survivors, along with three grandchildren.

At his request, there will be no services. Graves, a former member of the Coast Guard, will have his ashes scattered at sea.