Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey has November 3 circled on his
calendar as Point of Entry will
now target the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita after picking up
his third straight Grade 1 victory in Saturday’s Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
McGaughey said he was concerned when the turf came up yielding on
Saturday but was impressed with how Point of Entry coped with the off going and
other adversity in his 1 ¾-length win over European invader Treasure Beach.
“I did think [Treasure
Beach] was the horse to
beat when the turf came up that way,” said McGaughey. “But [the
turf] will be hard out there [in California].
All things being equal, I’m looking forward to going. Five weeks in
between [starts], he’ll be in good form after running on that soft
ground. He’s a pretty durable horse.
“I think he won yesterday not on his best race with the pace
scenario and the way the turf was. The tactics of Treasure Beach,
I think, fooled us a little bit. That horse opened up around the turn and
floated us way out there. He was able to overcome all of that and still win
pretty impressively, I thought.”
A win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf would make Point of Entry, a
Phipps Stable homebred who owns additional Grade 1 wins in this year’s
Man o’ War and Sword Dancer Invitational, a strong contender for Champion
Turf Male and Horse of the Year, McGaughey said.
“I think that should be looked at,” said McGaughey.
“We’ll see how he does in the Breeders’ Cup, but I think with
his winning streak and how dominant he has been in some of his races that an
Eclipse Award should be in his sight if he makes a decent effort out
McGaughey said he has no definite plans for when he’ll send Point
of Entry to Santa Anita, but mentioned that in the past he has given his turf
horses a workout over that venue’s turf course prior to the
“The two times I’ve had some luck out there both horses had
worked,” said McGaughey. “Lure, a long time ago, worked over the
turf course [before he won the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Mile], and Dancing
Forever, who finished third [in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Turf], had worked
over the course, so that’s going to be in my mind.”
McGaughey said he will regroup with both Hymn Book, eighth in the Grade 1 TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup
Invitational, and Hit It Rich,
seventh in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational.
“I was disappointed in [Hymn Book’s] effort,” said
McGaughey, who trains both runners for Stuart S. Janney III. “I thought
he was coming into the race really well. I thought he would like the track.
Maybe it was heavier than I thought it was. Maybe I need to drop him down a
notch or two. He seems to be OK. I’ll sort of wait and see if there will
be some sort of two-turn race at Aqueduct and see what he does there.
“I don’t think [Hit It Rich] handled the turf at all. None
of the American horses did, I guess, because European horses were 1-2-3-4. With
Point of Entry, I didn’t know if he would like it or not like it, but
with Hit It Rich I felt like she might not like it with her running style.
Javier [Castellano] said she was running along, was very relaxed and going
along fine, but when he said, ‘Let’s go on’ along the
backside and maybe open up a little bit and maybe make those other horses
commit some, she didn’t open up. I realize she was jumping into another
league, so if she comes out of the race fine I’ll just point her for the Long Island [Grade 3, Aqueduct Racetrack, November