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Zipse At The Track

Point of Entry Dispatches Animal Kingdom

In one of the more anticipated turf showdowns seen in American racing for several years, Point of Entry defeated Animal Kingdom in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap by 1 ¼ lengths.

Always in good stalking position under John Velazquez, Point of Entry was content to sit in second behind a slow early pace set by Salto. Sensing the dawdling fractions, rider Joel Rosario asked the 4-5 favorite, Animal Kingdom, to go on the backstretch, and the response was immediate. From back in fifth to first in seemingly a few strides, Animal Kingdom stuck his nose in front of Salto, and the race was on. The overmatched early leader soon succumbed to the speeding pair on his inside and outside, and it was down to Point of Entry and Animal Kingdom.

For a while it looked like the two horses that everybody came to see might battle it out to the wire, but it soon became clear that Point of Entry was sprinting home the faster of the two. Edging clear with every powerful stride, Animal Kingdom ran big, but had no answer for the 2-1 second choice. The winner stopped the time in an impressive 1:47 flat for the nine furlongs while signaling himself as the top turf dog in the land. Demonstrating his class, Point of Entry finished the final three-eighths of a mile in an almost unheard of :33.76.

For the powerful son of Dynaformer, it continued an amazing streak of grass racing that has seen him win six of his last seven, including four grade ones, with only a tough-luck, half-length loss to Little Mike in the Breeders’ Cup Turf preventing the winning steak. Owned in partnership by the Phipps Stable and Frank Stronach, and trained by Claude McGaughey, Point of Entry will now likely be off to the Middle East to contest the $5 Million Dubai Sheema Classic.

Meanwhile, for the valiant, second place finisher, Animal Kingdom, the race almost certainly will be his last race in America, with the rich Dubai World Cup in March his next target. It was another strong effort in defeat for the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, much as his Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Mile were, but that Derby win nearly two years ago remains his last stakes win. 


The budding turf star, Unbridled Command also ran well to finish third, but the New York-bred simply could not keep up with the two superstars in the late stages, and finished another 1 ¼ lengths behind the runner-up.



One race after the showdown, sprinters took center stage in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship, and it was Fort Loudon fighting off a series of challengers to score in the grade 3 affair. Showing good speed from the inside, the four-year-old son of Awesome of Course, never had time for a breather as he was challenged early and often. One by one, though, the Nick Zito charge fought off his competitors and was resolute in holding off Swagger Jack and Bahamian Squall down the stretch. Sent off as the 7-2 third choice in the field of eight, Fort Loudon hit the wire a half-length in front. Final time for the seven furlongs was a sharp 1:21.84, as the winner collected his 8th win in 21 lifetime starts.


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Older Comments about Point of Entry Dispatches Animal Kingdom...

Can't argue with that.
Jay, if he says that I won't disagree with him. But the guy keep making statement like " Jockey makes no difference in a race. They are just there for the ride" and many more stupid comments like that...
But for some reason certain riders get the best horses..hmmm could it be they are better?
...isn't that much...
I think tv is trying to point-out that the difference between the perceived great jocks and mid-level is that much, and that a mid-level jock would be 99% as successful if given the top horses.
@Jay - Yes we are pretty much agreed on the same thing. What impress me is that POE ran 9 furlong instead of 12 and look just as impressive. @shadowno I think we all understand that the margin between riders skill might be minimal but when you have to horses that is equal in skill/strength a very skill jockey can make a difference on the outcome. The problem is TV believe: Jockey is there for the ride and nothing else...Like the horse is smart enough to know exactly what to do or when to move up or stay back.
No doubt, I agree with tv. I get what Lisa is saying as well.
TV is fundamentally correct IMO. There is a minimal difference between Cornelio velasquez and John Velasquez on a daily basis as with Garret Gomez and Orlando Mojica. All are cometent skilled journeyman riders. However, it is for sure that some riders simply "fit" horses better than others i.E. Pat Valenzuela on a front runner or Eddie D on a closer. What are considered bad rides are simply inherent in the game and occur so seldomly amongst veteran riders in the top colonys that they are indeed an anomaly.
Both horses ran big races. What's puzzling is the strangeness of AK's run. I'm just saying...I've been a loud proponent of AK since the Breeders Cup, but I recognize an outstanding performance when I see it (along with almost everyone else), and it's probably time to just say POE was considerably better Saturday. He may not be next time, but I have to give praise where praise is due (and I'm not saying your aren't zxswoedxz. I think we are pretty-much agreeing with each other).
then don't call it a match
I am not talking about Match Race..just would like to see the two of them compete in the same race.
Match races are COMLETELY different animals
@Jay - Right now, it is any guess what would have happen if Joel did move up AK. Just sad as a horse racing fan that his is the last race for AK in the US. Plus, we might not see another match against the two of them.
Repeat: Stubborn as a mule!
Although I'm still strapped-in on the Animal Kingdom Bandwagon.
After a couple of days have passed, I think it's fair to say AK was not going to beat Point of Entry Saturday. I think POE would've had more in the tank if challenged harder by AK. Monster run on the turf by POE. Probably scorched his trail on the turf.
if this, but , maybe all within bounds of the narrative fallacy. repeat FALLACY
Yes vic, but you forget about the Other Jockeys and the outcome. Lezcano on Street Life definitely influenced the outcome and allowed Atigun to take third. If Lezcano moved Streetlife from last to mid pack prior to the final turn, the outcome would have been different. Again, we do not ever look at the influence of the jockey to outcome, we only look at the winning horses. The outcome of any race is dictated by ALL the jockeys and what they do with their horse. It is not simply because the horse is ready to run, it is what the jockeys do with them in the course of the race.
without the formful, ready to run competetive at this match up HORSE, the rider would have had nothing to guide to anything
could have been Joe Bravo, Lescano. make it up as I go around -oh

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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