08/19/2012 12:51PM

Saratoga: Point of Entry, Little Mike could meet in Joe Hirsch Turf Classic

Barbara D. Livingston
Point of Entry will make his next start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Sept. 29 at Belmont Park.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Point of Entry’s powerful four-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational combined with his 3 1/2 -length score in last month’s Grade 1 Man o’ War at Belmont Park, has trainer Shug McGaughey believing he has the best turf marathon horse in the country.

 “I think so, yes,” McGaughey said Sunday morning. “He’s the kind of horse where if both he and Little Mike ran together and the fractions were that slow he’d be breathing on him a little bit.”

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Point of Entry and Little Mike could very well run together in their next starts. McGaughey said Point of Entry would definitely run in the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park on Sept. 29. Dale Romans, the trainer of Arlington Million winner Little Mike, said his horse would be considered for the Joe Hirsch as well.

Point of Entry, a Phipps family homebred son of Dynaformer, ran his win streak to four straight by virtue of his Sword Dancer victory. After finding room to run turning for home under John Velazquez, Point of Entry drew away with authority. He ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:26.40 and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 103. McGaughey said Saturday’s performance was Point of Entry’s best to date.

 “I’d have to think so because the company was a little steeper,” McGaughey said. “I think he’s getting better and better. His Man o’ War was a great race too. [Saturday] when it was time to go, he was pretty dominant.”


Steven Wells More than 1 year ago
Typical mistake by east coast based trainer not looking at the bigger picture. Run Sept. 30 in the John Henry and get experience on the downhill course. That way come Nov. 3rd we the betting public do not hear the excuse my horse didn't handle the crossing of the dirt. Is the Joe Hirsch worth more than John Henry only by 450,000 yes but the BC is worth 2,400,000 than the Joe Hirsch. 10 BC races have crossed the dirt 9 have been won by a horse that has had experience crossing the dirt or was from Europe which means they know they are not running in a circle. Forever Together the lone exception.
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
shug mcgaughey is in the hall of fame are you?
Steven Wells More than 1 year ago
No I am not. I was not questioning his ability. It is the dismissing what is the goal. To have the best marathon turf horse in August or after the BC. An to have the best after the BC is to run over the course before the BC. With Acclamation missing the Pacific Classic his schedule becomes the John Henry most likely which would give him 3 grade 1 wins on turf. I just want to see the horse have the best possible chance come BC and beat the imports.