01/18/2013 2:18PM

Stronach buys into Point of Entry partnership

Barbara D. Livingston
Frank Stronach now owns a half-interest in turf star Point of Entry. The horse will continue to be trained by Shug McGaughey.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Frank Stronach, chairman of the Stronach Group, the owner of Gulfstream Park, has purchased a half-interest in three-time Grade 1 winner Point of Entry from the Phipps Stable. The sale was confirmed on Friday by Shug McGaughey, who will continue to train Point of Entry for the new partnership.

“The deal was actually completed last month,” said McGaughey. “Mr. Stronach expressed an interest in Point of Entry before the Breeders’ Cup and pursued the deal afterwards. He purchased a half-interest in the horse for racing purposes and the majority share when the horse is retired to stud. The Phippses retained a small percentage for stud purposes.”

Point of Entry was one of the premier grass horses in the country in 2012, winning five straight races before ending the season finishing second, beaten a half-length by Little Mike, in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Point of Entry began his winning streak in a second-level allowance race at Keeneland, then reeled off impressive victories in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Elkhorn, Belmont’s Grade 1 Man o’ War and Turf Classic Invitational, and Saratoga’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer. All his wins came at 1 1/2 miles, except the Man o’ War, which was decided at 11 furlongs.

“This is the first horse I’ve ever trained for Mr. Stronach,” said McGaughey. “I’ve had two conversations with him since he became partners in Point of Entry and everything has gone perfectly both times. He’s glad to have a piece of him and we’re glad to have him as a partner.”

Point of Entry has been training steadily at Payson Park for his 2013 debut, which McGaughey said is scheduled to come in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9. That field is also expected to include 2011 Kentucky Derby winner and 2012 Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up Animal Kingdom as well as Unbridled Command, who has won his last five starts, including the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in his 3-year-old finale.

“He had a good break after the Breeders’ Cup and it really helped him,” said McGaughey. “He looked tremendous when I saw him up at Payson last week and I’m really pleased with the way he’s been training. Everything is on go right now for the Gulfstream Park Turf. It’s going to be a strong field and we will be coming off a layoff but so will Animal Kingdom and Unbridled Command has never run against this kind before.”