Point Given

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Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Monarchos Takes the Spotlight

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

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

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.

Point Given Set to Arrive After Fast Workout; Fifty Stars Works

Point Given Set to Arrive After Fast Workout; Fifty Stars Works

Probable Derby favorite Point Given is scheduled to arrive at Churchill late Wednesday morning after working a quick half-mile at Santa Anita on Tuesday. The work in :46 4/5 was the fastest of the day for 26 horses working at the distance. Meanwhile, working at Churchill Downs on a brisk and windy morning Tuesday was Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Fifty Stars, who finished second in the Lone Star Derby in his most recent effort. With jockey Donnie Meche aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen, the colt breezed a half-mile in :50.

Point Given's Role as Derby Favorite Strengthened

Point Given's Role as Derby Favorite Strengthened

Point Given didn't even run over the weekend, but English bookmaking firm William Hill dropped its Kentucky Derby (gr. I) price anyway, from 7-4 to 3-2. There certainly is no disputing Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Point Given is a deserved favorite for the May 5 Derby. Mike Battaglia, who has made Churchill Downs' Derby morning line since 1975, said if he had to make the line today, he would make Point Given 2-1.

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen; Point Given Still on Top

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Dual Personality

Dual Personality

By Ray Paulick -- Point Given first got my attention last year in the 1 1/16-mile Champagne Stakes (gr. I).

Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20: Point Given Moves to Head of the Class

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Steve Haskin's April 9 Derby Report: Point Given Nears Perfection

Steve Haskin's April 9 Derby Report: Point Given Nears Perfection

It's rare to see perfection in a young colt prepping for the Kentucky Derby, but that's just about what we saw from Point Given in the Santa Anita Derby. Frankly, we can't think of anything left for this colt to prove. Taking every factor into consideration, other than soundness, we've got a horse who has the right trainer; the right jockey; the right pedigree; is a dual qualifier; is not only bigger and stronger than his opponents, but is also quicker and faster; can come from the clouds, lay in mid-pack, or stalk the leaders; can handle dry and wet tracks; and has already shown he likes Churchill Downs.

Point Given 2-1 Favorite as Derby Future Wager Closes

Point Given 2-1 Favorite as Derby Future Wager Closes

Impressed with his winning performance in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), bettors poured money on Point Given in pool three of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, with the son of Thunder Gulch the 2-1 favorite as the bet closed at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday. Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos was the 6-1 second choice, with both Dollar Bill and A P Valentine at 10-1.

Point Given Romps in Santa Anita Derby

Point Given Romps in Santa Anita Derby

The Thoroughbred Corp.'s homebred Point Given tracked pacesetter Crafty C.T. through the early going, went by the leader approaching the second turn, and pulled clear in the stretch to an impressive 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). On a track listed as muddy, Point Given completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.77 under jockey Gary Stevens.

Point Given's Future Wager Odds Plunge

Racing fans across North America responded to a dazzling victory by Point Given in the Santa Anita Derby by making the son of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch a strong favorite heading into the final day of betting in the final pool of Churchill Downs' 2001 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Haskin's Derby Top 20 (April 2): A P Valentine Still on Top

Haskin's Derby Top 20 (April 2): A P Valentine Still on Top

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Santa Anita Derby Update: Cal-Bred Cherokee Kim May Go

Cherokee Kim, winner of a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight on turf March 10, is a possible starter in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7. Probables for the race, with jockeys, are: Point Given, Gary Stevens; Crafty C.T., Eddie Delahoussaye; Palmeiro, Kent Desormeaux; Scorpion, Victor Espinoza; Startac, Alex Solis; I Love Silver, Laffit Pincay Jr., and Cherokee Kim, no rider. Possibles include: Early Flyer, Macabe, and So Urgent.

Point Given Sharp in Santa Anita Work

Point Given, who is expected to go off as the heavy favorite in the Apr. 7 Santa Anita Derby, breezed a sharp half in :47 1/5 at Santa Anita Tuesday. The son of Thunder Gulch captured the San Felipe Stakes in his only start this year.

Steve Haskin's Kentucky Derby Top 20: March 26 Update

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Road to Louisville: Who's Going Where

Road to Louisville: Who's Going Where

The road to Louisville right now is like something out of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," where everyone is scurrying frantically about in different directions trying to get to a single destination. Many trainers are still confused as to where to send their steeds, whether they're trying to avoid the big guns, like Monarchos and Point Given, or looking for the best possible spot for their horse. Derby winners usually have set plans and stick to it, so it's almost time for those trainers who are still vacillating to make up their minds.

Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20 -- March 19

Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20 -- March 19

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press'"Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.

Haskin's March 19 Derby Report: Stars Shine as Clouds Lift

Haskin's March 19 Derby Report: Stars Shine as Clouds Lift

Just over a week ago, the clouds over the Derby trail were so thick, everyone was fumbling along in the dark, trying to get even the slightest glimpse of the Twin Spires. Now, all of the sudden, the clouds have lifted and the stars are shining brightly. First Monarchos lit up the sky in the Florida Derby. And at Santa Anita this past Saturday, two more stars emerged, as visible against the night sky as the top of Bob Baffert's head.

Santa Anita Report: Point Given Scores in 2001 Debut

Santa Anita Report: Point Given Scores in 2001 Debut

It wasn't supposed to happen quite like this. There was nobody breathing down his neck. There was no target to home in on. All that remained up ahead was a quarter-mile of sun-baked Santa Anita dirt. With a quartet of weary rivals to his inside, Point Given, five wide and coasting, was in control of his own destiny. Atop the massive colt, Gary Stevens could sense an urgency. He felt Point Given waiting, pleading to be let loose. Turning for home in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) on March 17, Stevens shortened his cross, putting the bit firmly in his colt's mouth. For Point Given, it was a cue to roll. His response was emphatic.

Family Matters: Point Given's Pedigree Analysis

Family Matters: Point Given's Pedigree Analysis

From Thunder Gulch's second crop, Point Given appears poised to make a run at the 2001 Derby, giving the Mr. Prospector line another strong player to extend the dynasty. If successful, Thunder Gulch would join Unbridled (Grindstone) as the most recent Derby winner to sire a Derby winner.

Future Odds Plunge on Songandaprayer

The mutuel field remained the fans' favorite in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, but an upset in the weekend's major Kentucky Derby prep race resulted in a shuffling of the odds on several Derby contenders heading into the final day of wagering in the pool. The biggest move of the day was made by Songandaprayer, the upset winner of the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park. Songandaprayer opened Saturday's wagering as the longest shot in the field at 99-1, but the odds on that colt had dropped to 30-1 by the end of Saturday's betting

Analyzing Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1

Analyzing Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1

Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, analyzes the horses included in Churchill Downs 2001 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000 and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997.

Derby Future Wager Opens Thursday

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has predicted the mutuel field will be favored in Churchill Downs' first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool. Wagering for the first of three pools opens Thursday.

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