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Point of Entry, Palace Malice Breeze for Breeders' Cup

Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who is poised to become the leading jockey by earnings in North American racing history, had a busy Sunday morning at Belmont Park aboard a pair of horses preparing for starts in the Breeders' Cup in early November at Santa Anita Park.

 

Velazquez breezed Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice four furlongs in 48.40 on the training track, then took the reins aboard Point of Entry for a 1:01.74 five-furlong breeze around dogs on the inner turf course

 

When Velazquez rides Palace Malice in the Breeders' Cup Classic, he will replace fellow Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who has opted to ride Game On Dude. Palace Malice, trained by Todd Pletcher for Dogwood Stable, will enter the Classic off a second to Ron the Greek in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational on September 28 at Belmont.

 

"I thought Palace Malice was his normal, very good self," said Pletcher. "A good work and a strong gallop out."

 

Velazquez has been aboard Phipps Stable homebred Point of Entry for all but two of his nine wins, including five of his six graded stakes scores. Point of Entry, second in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf, hasn't competed since undergoing surgery for a condylar fractured detected by his connections after he picked up his fifth Grade 1 triumph in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap in June at Belmont. His Sunday breeze was his first on the turf since he returned to the worktab on September 14.

 

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey admits he doesn't have a lot of time to prepare Point of Entry for the Breeders' Cup Turf, but likes the progress he has seen from the 5-year-old.

 

"He worked very well," said McGaughey. "I think we're on the right track. He galloped out good and strong and finished up good."

 

Also on the worktab for the Breeders' Cup was Graydar, who turned in a 1:01.32 five-furlong move with exercise rider Hector Ramos aboard for Pletcher and owner Twin Creeks Racing Stable. Graydar is targeting the Breeders' Cup Classic off a victory in Belmont's Grade 2 Kelso Invitational Handicap on September 28.

 

"Graydar also was very good," said Pletcher. "A strong five-eighths for him. Hopefully, we're making progress towards the Breeders' Cup Classic with both [Graydar and Palace Malice]."

 


 

 

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