Jamaica H. (gr. I)
(gr. IT , 9f ,)
TAKE THE POINTS
Even the Score Ginger Ginger , by Fred Astaire
BPhoenix Farm, KY.; OStarlight Racing; TTodd A. Pletcher
(DK B/ h,
Giant's Causeway Eventail , by Lear Fan
BGallagher's Stud, NY.; ORichard Santulli; TAlan E. Goldberg
Storm Cat Tranquility Lake , by Rahy
BPam & Martin Wygod, KY.; OWygod, Pam and Martin; TWilliam I. Mott
Take the Points has thrived since being switched to the turf, notching his second straight grade I victory when winning the Oct. 10 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
After a disappointing 13th-place finish in the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher decided a change was in order for the 3-year-old son of Even the Score. Take the Points started next on the turf at Colonial Downs, where he finished a close fourth in the Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT).
Following a strong third-place finish in the July 18 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT), Take the Points made a statement with a determined head victory in the Aug. 9 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Given some time off since that win, Take the Points took the lead at the top of the stretch under jockey Edgar Prado and was able to repel the bid of Straight Story to capture his second grade I stakes win. Final time for the nine furlongs was 1:48.51 over a firm turf course.
ÒI think this horse is really finding himself now and learning how to run and learning how to finish off a race,Ó said Pletcher after the race. The win was the first grade I win in New York for the trainer since English Channel took the 2007 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. IT).
Jack and Laurie Wolf, who spearhead Starlight Partners, now face a bit of a dilemma as to where to race next. Take the Points is not BreedersÕ Cup eligible, so he would have to be supplemented to any of the World Championship races. The Nov. 29 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) remains a viable option.
Take the Points was bred in Kentucky by Ramiro Salazar and his wife, Denise Belcher, who own Phoenix Farm. The couple acquired Take the PointsÕ dam, Ginger Ginger, from her previous owner, as payment for owed board bills. Ginger Ginger, a daughter of Fred Astaire, had aborted her two previous foals, and her owner did not want to spend anymore money breeding her.
Salazar and Belcher sent Ginger Ginger to a reproductive specialist; after undergoing surgery, she was eventually bred to Even the Score, and the resulting foal was Take the Points. Ginger Ginger produced a filly by Spellbinder earlier this year and has been bred to Zanjero for 2010.
Second-crop sire Even the Score is the sire of four stakes winners, including 2009 added-money winners Scorewithcater and Four Gifts (gr. III). Even the Score stood the 2009 season for $15,000 at Ro ParraÕs Millennium Farms near Paris, Ky.ÑM.J.S.