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Point of Entry on Grade I Roll

Point of Entry will try for his third consecutive Grade 1 score and fifth victory in a row as he heads the list of probable starters for the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at 1 ½ miles on the turf.


Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who has posted nine graded stakes wins on the turf this year, the 4-year-old Dynaformer colt has dominated over a distance of ground on the grass this year. The Phipps Stable color-bearer began his streak in April at Keeneland, winning a 1 ½-mile allowance and earning his first stakes win in the Grade 2 Elkhorn, also at 1 ½ miles. Back in New York, Point of Entry was a 3 ½-length winner of the Grade 1, 1 3/8-mile Man o’ War on July 14, and on August 18 added a four-length score in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at 1 ½ miles.


Trainer Dale Romans has enjoyed a banner year as well, thanks in part to Priscilla Vaccarezza’s multiple graded stakes winner Little Mike, who will be making his first start at 1 ½ miles. The 5-year-old Spanish Steps gelding has hit the board in all five starts this year, including victories in the Grade 1 Arlington Million and the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs.


One of the Romans-trained Donegal Racing duo of Grade 1 Pacific Classic winner Dullahan and Grade 1 Secretariat runner-up Finnegans Wake is likely to contest the Joe Hirsch, according to Byrnes. The other will probably run in the Grade 1, $400,000 Jamaica Handicap for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on October 6 at Belmont.


Expected to join Point of Entry and Romans’ horses in the starting gate for the Joe Hirsch are Center Divider, seventh in the Sword Dancer; Game Ball, who was eighth; Lucky Chappy, third in the Grade 3 Saranac at Saratoga; Grade 1 winner Prince Will I Am, who came off a year layoff to finish sixth in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at the Spa, and Treasure Beach, sixth in the Arlington Million.




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