05/20/2005 11:00PM

Sir Barton: Pinpoint wires the field


When it comes to his 3-year-olds this year, trainer Nick Zito quite often has had pinpoint accuracy. Zito, after winning a plethora of stakes earlier this year, had five runners in the Kentucky Derby and three in the Preakness Stakes, and on Saturday at he produced a runner for the June 11 Belmont Stakes when Pinpoint led from start to finish in the $100,000 .

Pinpoint ($10.80), as he had in his previous start, took full advantage of a race that came up with very little pace. He set fractions of 24.65 seconds, 49.13, and 1:13.04 for the first six furlongs on the fast main track, then turned back a stretch-long bid by Smokescreen to win by three-quarters of a length.

Killenaule was third, another five lengths behind Smokescreen, with the 2-1 favorite, Reel Legend, fourth after a rough trip in which he was knocked about between horses at the start, then was forced to rush up while wide down the backstretch because of the slow pace.

"We got knocked right out of the gate," said Jose Santos, who rode Reel Legend. "He'll be all right."

Pinpoint, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, took 1:44.43 to cover 1 1/16 miles. It took Zito considerably less time to decide that the Belmont was next.

"No question. You have to at least think about it," Zito said. "He'll run all day. He took a big step today. He's getting good at the right time."

Pinpoint, a colt by Peaks and Valleys, was bred and is owned by Arthur Hancock III. "He's a great breeder. He sends me some good horses," Zito said.

Pinpoint finished last of 12 in his debut at Gulfstream on Feb. 12, but has won three straight since, all since blinkers were added. Zito said Pinpoint did not race last year because "we had to fire his shins and take our time, the normal 2-year-old stuff."