07/20/2006 11:00PM

Son of Point Given scores in Virginia Derby

Jeff Coady / Coady Photography
Go Between wins the Virginia Derby, making him the second graded stakes-winning offspring of Point Given in a month.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - By winning the Grade 2 Virginia Derby, Go Between became the third homebred winner of the race for owner-breeder Peter Vegso, joining Orchard Park and Silver Tree. Perhaps Vegso's successes are providing a little chicken soup for the bettor's soul, which would be appropriate, as he is the president of Health Communications Inc., the Florida-based company that publishes the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series of books.

Go Between also is performing admirably as a representative for his sire, Point Given, who was Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old colt in 2001.

Now the winner of two graded stakes after victory in the $1 million Virginia Derby, Go Between is one of a pair of graded stakes winners in the past 30 days from the first crop by Point Given. A big chestnut of imposing stature and very considerable substance, Point Given indicated early that he had the power and stride qualities of an outstanding classic horse.

Beaten only once at 3, Point Given won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, and in pedigree, as well as physique, he was a thoroughly classic racehorse.

By Thunder Gulch, a Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner, and out of a stakes-winning mare by the champion Turkoman, Point Given showed good speed and above-average precocity . At 2, he won the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity and ran a close second to divisional champion Macho Uno in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Given his stout pedigree and considerable improvement from 2 to 3, Point Given was always a stallion more likely to get his best stock as 3-year-olds going a distance.

From the massive chestnut's first crop of racers, his first stakes winner and graded winner was Go Between, winner of the Palm Beach Stakes in March. Since then, several other 3-year-olds by Point Given have shown promise, and the best of the others to date has been Point Determined, who won the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park last month and also is Grade 1 stakes-placed.

Vegso bred his third winner of the Virginia Derby by sending his mare Mediation to Point Given, both good racehorses but of different sizes. He said, "Mediation is an average-sized mare, although we were surprised that her first three foals [for Vegso] were smallish, but all were triers. So we switched to Point Given, since he's on the big side, and Go Between and his full brother are not small."

Vegso has a broodmare band of 32 at his farm in Florida, and he purchased Mediation at the 1999 Keeneland November sale for $375,000. The mare was in foal to Gone West, and she produced her first foal for Vegso in 2000. That foal was named Ptah, and the bay gelding has been a willing competitor who has won six races and has earned $160,693 to date.

Mediation is a stakes-winning daughter of Caerleon, who won the French Derby and was a leading stallion overseas. Bred in Ireland by the Wildenstein family's Dayton Ltd., Mediation won the 1000 Guineas Trial and placed in group races in Europe, as well as the graded Jenny Wiley at Keeneland.

Sent through the sales ring as a 4-year-old in 1996, Mediation sold for $200,000. The next year, she resold for $300,000 in foal to Woodman and carrying her first foal. Two years later, Vegso purchased her carrying the mare's third foal.

While the results of the mare's first two matings produced only a minor winner in Italy and an unraced colt by Spinning World, Vegso has had markedly better results. In addition to Ptah, the mare produced a winner by Saint Ballado, the quite useful Extreme Beauty (a Rahy filly who ran third in the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes in England), and then Go Between as her first four foals for Vegso.

Mediation has a 2-year-old full brother to Go Between named Compromise, and Vegso noted that Compromise is "nearly as big as his brother already." The mare does not have a yearling but foaled a colt by Vegso's stallion Orchard Park on March 29 and is back in foal to Proud Citizen.

The foal of 2006 has been named Matai and is the star member of the first crop by his sire, a son of Hennessy whom Vegso kept as an essentially private stallion in Florida. Vegso said, "We bred Orchard Park to six or seven mares on the farm, and we're really pleased by how nice they look."