02/21/2006 12:00AM

Point Given's first crop coming into its own

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Horse of the Year at 3, Point Given now has a crop of 3-year-old runners performing well.

LAS VEGAS - Winner of the 2001 Preakness, Belmont, Travers, Haskell Invitational, and San Felipe stakes as well as the Santa Anita Derby, Point Given was not only the 3-year-old champion, he was also Horse of the Year, and his first-crop foals are turning into formidable runners at age 3.

A son of the 1995 3-year-old champion, Thunder Gulch, who won the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, Travers, Swaps, Fountain of Youth, and Florida Derby, Point Given was a late-maturing 2-year-old, much like his sire. As a juvenile, Thunder Gulch won the Remsen Stakes and was second in the Hollywood Futurity and Cowdin Stakes, while Point Given won the Hollywood Futurity and Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes and was second in the Champagne Stakes and Breeders' Cup Juvenile, where his nose loss to Macho Uno cost him a championship.

With maturity and distances over seven furlongs, Point Given's offspring are catching up to their contemporaries whose early speed and development gave them an advantage over Point Given's babies at 2. His runners include the following:

Great Point

Nick Zito has an army of 3-year-olds, but his best colt may be Great Point. The winner of two of his five starts, Great Point attained national attention when he finishing a fast-closing second to Barbaro in the nine-furlong Holy Bull Stakes.

In addition to his sire, Great Point has a classy female family. His dam, Crafty Queen (Crafty Prospector), is a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Distaff winner and multiple Grade 1 winner Spain (by Point Given's sire, Thunder Gulch). His next race is scheduled to be the Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 4.

Point Determined

Bob Baffert trained Point Given, and he has a handful of runners from his first crop, including Point Determined, Point of Impact, and Three Points. Point Determined made his career debut the day after Christmas at Santa Anita, where he was a closing third in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race. Stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in his second start, he showed an explosive kick, reeling in his stablemate Royal Legacy (from the first crop of Monarchos, who defeated Point Given in the 2001 Kentucky Derby).

After gaining an education finishing second in his third start, he won an allowance at Golden Gate. His stakes-winning dam, Merengue, is by the stout Broad Brush, giving Point Determined a double dose of stamina.

Point of Impact

Winner of a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Santa Anita on Feb. 16, Point of Impact has shown ability but is still green. Like so many mares bred to Point Given, Point of Impact's dam is from a very classy female family. His third dam is a half-sister to Narrate, the dam of Preach and Preach's full sister, Yarn. Preach is the dam of Pulpit, while Yarn is the dam of a European champion, Minardi, and second dam of champion Johannesburg. Point of Impact's fifth dam is Monarchy, a full sister to Round Table.

Three Points

Three Points has three second-place finishes in four starts and is Baffert's third offspring of Point Given who is nominated to the Triple Crown. Second to Point of Impact in his last start, Three Points is out of the Citidancer mare Christmas Lights, a Canadian stakes winner who carries the Rasmussen Factor, being inbred to the influential broodmare My Charmer. She is the dam of the 1977 Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, multiple Group 2 winner Seattle Dancer (the most expensive yearling sold at public auction at $13.1 million), and Lomond, winner of the 2000 Guineas.

That's a Given

Trainer James Jerkens's top 3-year-old is Corinthian (by Pulpit), a half-brother to stakes winner Desert Hero, but he also trains That's a Given, who also descends from a female family full of high quality. His second dam, Averell, is a half-sister to 2-year-old champion Lord Avie, multiple stakes winner Jolly Johu, and stakes winner Avum, the third dam of Stephen Got Even (sire of Stevie Wonderboy). That's a Given's fourth dam, Evilone, was a special broodmare, producing an Alabama Stakes winner, Tona, as well as the multiple stakes-winning turf specialist Jean-Pierre.

With just a small sample of runners showing a great deal of promise thus far, Point Given should move up the stallion ranks as his 3-year-olds excel at classic distances. In addition to having superiority at distances longer than one mile on dirt, his runners should also perform well on turf (much like his own sire, Thunder Gulch) because of the abundant grass influences in his pedigree.