Starlight Partners' Take the Points drifted in while rallying to get the lead inside the eighth pole in the Feb. 6 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT), and despite winning by 1 1/2 lengths, was disqualified and placed fifth. Put up for the win in the $300,000 race for older turf runners was IEAH Stables, Resolute Group Stables, and WinStar Farm’s Court Vision , the 4-5 favorite in the race (VIDEO).
The Gulfstream Park stewards deemed that Take the Points impeded Yate's Black Cat around the sixteenth pole. At that point in the race, jockey Edgar Prado had taken Take the Points off the hedge and angled out to go around pacesetter Le Grand Cru. As Yate’s Black Cat, with Kent Desormeaux aboard, tried to split the pair, he was squeezed and stumbled between the pair, nearly going down.
Take the Points, who had rated just off the pace of Le Grand Cru for most of the race, hit the wire in 1:46.84 for the nine furlongs over a course rated firm.
Court Vision, meanwhile, had rated while in fifth position in the six-horse field and came with a clear, three-wide move in the stretch.
“I had a great trip,” Robby Albarado said of his tour of the turf course aboard Court Vision. “I think my horse ran a great race and it was a good comeback win. I was in striking distance with a chance to win and wasn’t bothered in the stretch.”
Take the Points’ trainer, Todd Pletcher, wasn’t pleased with the disqualification.
“Mr. (Jack) Wolf (head of Starlight Partners) and I have already talked about it and we’ll consider an appeal. The head-on (camera) shot on turf is not really a true one. We thought the one (Le Grand Cru) came out a little (into Yate’s Black Cat). The thing that bothers me most is that there was no way the horse (he) was supposed to have bothered was ever going to beat him. I’ve always thought that if it isn’t clear, you just leave it alone.”
With his outside move, Court Vision finished a neck in front of Never On Sunday, who rallied from last place. Le Grand Cru was another neck back and was followed across the wire by Yate’s Black Cat and Adagio.
Court Vision, a 5-year-old son of Gulch—Weekend Storm, by Storm Bird, was bred in Kentucky by William S. Farish and Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership. As a 3-year-old he captured the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) and Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) late in the season, and last year added the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) to his resume. He ended last year’s run with a fourth-place effort behind champion Goldikova in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).
The Richard Dutrow-trained horse has now won seven of 20 starts. The $180,000 first-place check boosts his career earnings to $1,777,430. He was previously trained by Bill Mott.
Take the Points was making his 4-year-old debut in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. He won a pair of grade I races on the turf last year: the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park and the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont. The son of Even the Score —Ginger Ginger, by Fred Astaire, was a $160,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling purchase by Starlight Partners.
Court Vision paid $3.80, $2.60, and $2.10, while Never On Sunday returned $4.20 and $3.40. Le Grand Cru held on for third and paid $5.40 to show. The exacta (3-4) paid $15.