Trainer Shug McGaughey had a busy and productive morning Sunday,
journeying to Payson Park Training Center in Indiantown, FL to supervise
the half-mile workout of Point of Entry before returning to Gulfstream
Park to monitor Abaco’s half-mile breeze.
Point of Entry, a three-time Grade 1 stakes winner last year,
pleased his Hall of Fame trainer with his final serious preparation for a
start in next Saturday’s $300,000 Kitten’s Joy Gulfstream Park Turf
“He shaded 48 (seconds). He went very well,” McGaughey said.
Point of Entry is expected to make his much anticipated 2013 debut
against 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Animal Kingdom and Hollywood
Derby (G1) victor Unbridled Command in the 1 1/8-mile handicap.
“I’m looking forward to it,” McGaughey said. “This is no
win-at-all-risk type of situation. It’s only the first of February. Our
main objective is the Breeders’ Cup (Turf) next fall. How I get him
there, we’ll see, but so far, so good.”
Point of Entry was riding a five-race winning streak, which included
triumphs in the Man o’ War, Sword Dancer and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic,
when he was tripped up in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa
Anita. The son of Dynaformer was hopelessly trapped in traffic before
springing free too late to miss catching Little Mike by a half-length.
“It’s always disappointing, but he did run good. He just didn’t
win,” McGaughey said. “It’s hard, but you can’t cry over spilled milk.
We just have to regroup and have as good a year this year.”
Upon returning to Gulfstream, McGaughey watched Abaco turn in the
fastest of five works clocked at the half-mile distance on turf. Abaco
was timed in 47.42 seconds while working in company with Scampering
“She went nice,’ McGaughey said.
The 5-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway didn’t break her maiden
until her ninth lifetime start, but she has been undefeated in three
subsequent starts since breaking into the win column at Saratoga last
July. An impressive late-closing winner at Gulfstream on Dec. 9, Abaco
is scheduled to make her stakes debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Suwannee
“I’ve been lucky to be able to use her conditions. She’s come
around, and this is another step for her,” McGaughey said. “It’s her
first time in a stakes, and I’m sure it will be a very competitive
Leading Astray, a graded-stakes winner trained by Chris Block,
breezed a half mile in 48.85 seconds at Gulfstream Sunday morning in
preparation for the Suwannee River. Romacaca breezed an easy half-mile
over the main track in 50.05 seconds.