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.
- Dark Bay or Brown Gelding
- Born 2008
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.
Point Given, one of the early favorites for the May 5 Kentucky Derby, will make his first start of the year on Saturday when he breaks from post eight in the grade II, $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1-16 miles at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
How about a little diversionary game on the way to next Saturday's Fountain of Youth and Risen Star stakes? Picture the Derby trail as a maze. The object is to find your way through the maze and reach Churchill Downs without running into D. Wayne Lukas, Bob Baffert or Nick Zito. Well, we didn't say it would easy. But with racing's three-headed monster concentrating on blocking all the major roads, this past weekend's smattering of minor stakes was an excellent chance for trainers to take another step in achieving their goal. Not to mention taking home some decent cash as well.
Has Derby fever begun its annual rose-colored rise up the old thermometer, or do you still have samurais and geisha girls on the brain? It seems like only yesterday that dusk was settling on Churchill Downs and we were all rejoicing over racing's newest hero. We all felt as if the messiah had finally been delivered in the form of an Adonis-like creature named Fusaichi Pegasus. Then it all disappeared into the murk of a misty Maryland afternoon, leaving us to start our search all over again.
|Jockey||Oswald M. Pereira|
|Owner||Hays, Billy, Donna and Justin|
|Gold Trader View Five-Cross Pedigree||Johannesburg||Hennessy|
|Educated Risk||Mr. Prospector|
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