Point Given

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Baffert: 'Power Nap' Puts Point Given Back on the Muscle

Most horses that compete in all three Triple Crown races show some fatigue from the grueling campaign of three grade I events in five weeks, but not so with Point Given, according to his trainer, Bob Baffert, who returned to Churchill Downs with the colt on Sunday.

Steve Haskin's Belmont Story: Point Given Finally Sprouts Wings

It was a day of princes, presidents, and Pegasus. With Belmont Park rocking from the surge of electricity generated by the presence of former President Bill Clinton and his wife, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Point Given finally sprouted the wings his owner, Prince Ahmed Salman, trainer Bob Baffert, and jockey Gary Stevens had envisioned all along.

Sunny Skies for Belmont; Dollar Bill Second Early Choice

Continuing a week-long trend of perfect weather, Belmont Day dawned sunny with a pleasing, refreshing breeze. Forecasts call for the afternoon to remain sunny with a high of 82. The main track will be fast. New York Racing Association officials, citing a stronger Belmont Stakes field and nicer weather, were anticipating an attendance figure that improves on last year's on-site gathering of 67,000.

Belmont Notes: Sen. Clinton to Present Trophy; Weather is Fine

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will attend Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The senator will present the trophy to the winning connections of the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Haskin Called It Right! Why Point Given Should Dominate

We're going to venture out on that precarious and proverbial limb, even at the risk of leaving certain trainers dumfounded over our out-of-the-norm audacity. We're not going to be brazen enough to state emphatically that Point Given is the biggest lock in the Belmont Stakes since Secretariat. But...

Kentucky Contingent Arrives for Belmont; Contentious Race Seen

The post position draw is in, Point Given is in, Dollar Bill is in. Not much more to do now but wait. With the arrival of Team Valor's English import Dr Greenfield at approximately 6 p.m. this evening, the cast of nine for the 133rd Belmont Stakes will be in place. Everyone is in agreement that this year's Belmont looks to be one of the most contentious runnings in a long while.

Déjà Vu For Point Given As He Draws Outside Post Position

There were no surprises Wednesday when nine 3-year-olds were entered for Saturday's $1-million Belmont Stakes, third leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. As he did in the previous two legs of the series--the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness--morning line favorite Point Given will start from the outside post position.

Point Given Works in Slop at Churchill; 'Ben' On Track

Preakness (gr. I) winner Point Given had his final major workout before Saturday's mile and a half Belmont Stakes (gr. I), going five furlongs on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs in company with another 3-year-old from trainer Bob Baffert's stable. The son of Thunder Gulch covered the distance in :59 3/5, according to Baffert.

Monarchos, Point Given Gearing Up For Belmont Showdown

With the Belmont Stakes just over a week away, the questions persist: will the Test of the Champion live up to its billing as a showdown between Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos and Preakness winner Point Given, or will one of the other horses who have run well in Derby or Preakness, such as A P Valentine, Invisible Ink, Dollar Bill and Thunder Blitz, knock off the big two?

Haskin's Belmont Report: Why Point Given Should Dominate

We're going to venture out on that precarious and proverbial limb, even at the risk of leaving certain trainers dumfounded over our out-of-the-norm audacity. We're not going to be brazen enough to state emphatically that Point Given is the biggest lock in the Belmont Stakes since Secretariat. But...

Point Given, A P Valentine Turn in Sharp Works

Point Given and A P Valentine, the first two finishers in the Preakness Stakes, were on the work tab Tuesday morning, at Churchill Downs and Belmont, respectively. Point Given breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 with regular rider Dana Barnes aboard, while A P Valentine went the same distance in :59 2/5 under Jamie Sanders.

Jockey Profile: Staying in Touch With the Common Man

He may ride for a Saudi Arabian prince, but Gary Stevens hasn't lost touch with the common man. As the 38-year-old native of Caldwell, Idaho, was leaving the winner's circle ceremonies following Point Given's redemptive victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Stevens spotted Gladys McHargue, a female outrider, perched on her pony, tears streaming down her cheeks. He turned to wife Nikki, who was carrying a bouquet of black-eyed Susans, plucked out a single flower, and handed it to McHargue, then reached up to give her a warm embrace and exchange a few private words.

Trainer Profile: Baffert Back on Top in Triple Crown

It's hard to enjoy a private and special moment with 100,000 screaming fans around you. But after Point Given rolled to a 2 1/4-length victory at Pimlico May 19, trainer Bob Baffert grabbed his cell phone and tuned out the roar of the Preakness (gr. I) crowd. While watching the big red colt jog toward the winner's circle, Baffert called his 78-year-old mother in Nogales, Ariz.

Owner/Breeder Profile: Princely Pleasure

Prince Ahmed Salman likes quality, and he believed he had the goods in Point Given. He made the long trip from Saudi Arabia to Kentucky for the first Saturday in May to chase immortality. The Thoroughbred Corp., his racing and breeding operation, has been cranking out top racehorses for years. There have been three Breeders' Cup winners, owned exclusively or in partnership, but no classics trophies in the United States.

Haskin's Updated Preakness Analysis

Don't let anyone fool you. The 126th Preakness Stakes is so riddled with questions, it's all but impossible to truly feel strongly about one horse. You can guess or deduce or surmise or assume, but there is no way you state with any authority you know what's going to happen. We have a different scenario from the Derby, and it's anyone's guess if we'll have a fast or slow pace; if Monarchos can come back in two weeks after becoming only the second horse besides Secretariat to break 2:00 in the Derby; if the lightly raced Congaree is going to "bounce" after turning in a sensational effort in the Derby; if Point Given's Derby was a fluke; or if A P Valentine and Dollar Bill can rebound after encountering nightmare trips in the Derby.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: Baffert, Zito Hit the Work Tab

Enjoy today's action while you can. There won't be much more happening from a training standpoint from now on, as trainers will spend the remainder of the week using words like "maintain" and "preparation." With Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos sticking to a galloping program, today's works by Point Given and Congaree at Churchill Downs and A P Valentine at Pimlico were to be very revealing, as an indicator how these horses bounced out of the Derby.

Preakness Hopefuls On Track at Pimlico, Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos galloped at Pimlico Racecourse Monday morning as he continues preparations for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown. Also at Pimlico Monday, A P Valentine worked five furlongs. At Churchill Downs, trainer Bob Baffert worked his two Preakness candidates, Point Given and Congaree, and Dallas Stewart reported Dollar Bill is on track after his workout.

Monarchos Wins Kentucky Derby!

Monarchos exploded to the lead as the field straightened for home and won the 127th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday. The track had been playing fast all day and it did again in the Derby, Monarchos recording the second fastest winning time in Derby history. He covered the 1 1/4-miles in 1:59.97. Secretariat ran 1:59 2/5 (before timing in hundredths) in 1973.

Point Given Gives Baffert a Scare Derby Morning

"Poor Pepe looked like a gerbil hanging on to a piece of PVC pipe," Bob Baffert said Saturday morning after Kentucky Derby favorite Point Given gave the trainer a scare following a routine gallop over the Churchill Downs surface. Baffert said Point Given came off the track, wheeled, and repeatedly reared straight up in the air, flailing his front legs, and causing exercise rider Pepe Aragon to hold on for dear life.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: The Countdown Begins

Tick...tick...tick. Nothing to do now but wait. This evening's draw for post positions will be the final stress test for the Derby trainers, after which they will just have to get by Thursday and Friday, and then racing's longest day – Derby Day. Then, it'll all be over in a heartbeat, and all the questions will be answered. There was little activity this morning, as summer temperatures continue to climb by the day, bringing with them the forecast of possible thundershowers throughout the next few days. The morning's main action was Bob Baffert slipping Point Given past the hordes of onlookers virtually unnoticed.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Bob's Big Boys Burn Up Churchill Strip

The setting was the same as past years: Bob Baffert standing in the Churchill Downs grandstand, his white hair glistening in the morning sun like a fresh mound of snow. A two-way radio is held close to his mouth, as he surveys the post-renovation break scene and offers his first set of instructions to exercise rider Dana Barnes. Several minutes later, after watching his two Derby horses work, Baffert takes a deep, relaxing breath and breaks out into a smile and selection of one-liners. His horses once again have left a long line of smoldering hoof prints in the Churchill Downs surface.

Point Given, Congaree 'Awesome'; Maiden Drops Out

Kentucky Derby favorite Point Given and stablemate Congaree had their last workouts before Saturday's race, each posting fast times for their five furlong efforts. Point Given was timed in :58.50 seconds, as clocked by trainer Bob Baffert, who caught Congaree in :58.75 for five furlongs. Also Monday, Churchill officials announced that Tincin, winless in seven starts, was no longer being considered for the Derby after developing a cough.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Monarchos Takes the Spotlight

Sorry, but we've got yet another terrific work to confuse you with. But even with all the top works we've seen this week, we'd have to give this morning's drill by Monarchos the highest marks. There was a great deal of confusion as to what time he actually worked, as the clockers somehow only caught the final three-eighths of his five-furlong work.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: The Action Heats Up

Welcome to Churchill Downs. Many of the names and faces change each year, but the same charge of electricity still ripples through the backstretch. Bob Baffert has two shotgun cartridges aimed right at the Twin Spires, while Nick Zito is back after a one-year absence, and for the first time since Genuine Risk captured the roses in 1980, D. Wayne Lukas will be a spectator.

Haskin's Report: Balto Star Will Get the Derby Distance

There has been a lot of talk about Balto Star recently. His last two races – actually, last three -- have been so mind-boggling, especially his Thoro-Graph numbers, people simply don't know what to make of him. Balto Star is the horse Bob Baffert is afraid of, despite being a gelding, a son of sprinter Glitterman, and a confirmed front-runner. If you go by logic, all three of those factors should add up to Balto Star having too much going against him. Then again, maybe they shouldn't.

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