Trainer Bob Baffert answers questions about War Emblem's quest for the Triple Crown and his previous Triple Crown contenders.
It was no longer about buying the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), or Saudi Arabian politics, or lawsuits and bonuses. The 127th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) was about a white-haired man and his free-spirited black horse, and the history they will be attempting to make in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 8.
One year after his Point Given delivered to Prince Ahmed Salman a crushing defeat, the 43-year-old Saudi Arabian media magnate found his way to the Kentucky Derby winner's circle in the hoofprints of his speedy 2002 victor, War Emblem.
By Lenny Shulman -- A hard, fast track surface on Kentucky Derby Day takes its toll on horses that race at Churchill Downs that day.
The first mare bred to Horse of the Year Point Given at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., was pronounced in foal Feb. 25.
Teamwork and dedications were a central theme at the 31st annual Eclipse Awards dinner, a black-tie event held Monday night at the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla., where champion 3-year-old colt Point Given was crowned 2001 Horse of the Year.
The Eclipse Awards are voted on and presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and National Turf Writers Association.
Point Given was admired by just about everyone associated with horse racing in 2001. Turf writers were at a loss for adjectives and handicappers returned to the old adage, "If you can't beat him, join him," making him the betting favorite in all seven of his starts. Even casual racing fans got excited about the horse affectionately called "The Big Red Train" and went in droves to local tracks for a chance to watch racing's newest superstar.
Once again, the cheers resounded for Point Given, as the towering chestnut colt was awarded Horse of the Year honors at the 31st annual Eclipse Awards Dinner Feb. 18 at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla.
The wait is almost over and tonight we will find out if Tiznow successfully defended his Horse of the Year title when he won the Breeders' Cup Classic or if he will be dethroned by either Point Given or Johannesburg, the other two finalists as racing's best for 2001.
Horses who ran in the United States in 2001 head the three main categories in the European-organized International Classifications, which were released in England on Wednesday.
In a year without a lot of clear-cut favorites, Point Given is the lone unanimous choice in 2001 Eclipse Award balloting. The dual classic winner received top honors as champion 3-year-old male and is a finalist, along with Tiznow and Johannesburg, for Horse of the Year honors. Finalists in each of the Eclipse categories were announced Thursday.
How does a trainer go about snatching away the money title from someone who captured 48 stakes, 36 graded stakes, 18 grade I stakes, and earned a whopping $14,715,944? For Bob Baffert, who somehow managed to stay one step ahead of Bobby Frankel all year, all he had to do was win a $6-million stakes in Dubai in March, then unleash a powerhouse of a colt to become the first horse in history to capture four consecutive $1-million stakes.
Racing and breeding news and information.
For those pedigree pundits who worry about the gene pool being concentrated in a few sire lines, here's some more bad news. Half of the select field of 24 stallions entering stud in 2002 descend from the Mr. Prospector male line.
In a continuing effort to raise funds for the relief effort tied to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association held an auction to benefit its New York Heroes Fund following the annual Stallion Access fall sale Nov. 9 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's Newtown Paddocks.
Thoroughbred breeders are being offered a different deal on shares in Point Given than they were when it was announced two weeks earlier that he would enter stud in 2002 at Robert Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.
Point Given, leading candidate for Horse of the Year honors, arrived at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. at noon on Sunday, Sept. 16. The 3-year-old colt will stand his first season at stud at Three Chimneys in 2002.
By John McEvoy -- No doubt about it, Point Given was the kind of horse that made your heart leap up. So when his injury and subsequent retirement were announced Aug. 31, a great gloom descended on the sport that thought it had finally, at last, produced a star that would continue to thrill people. Wrong again.
Prince Ahmed Salman announced that dual classic winner Point Given will stand at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. Clay said Point Given will be syndicated into 50 shares and stand for a fee of $125,000 live foal. Richard Mulhall, racing manager of Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp., said the share price is $1 million, putting a value of $50 million on the son of Thunder Gulch, second only among newly retired stallion prospects to the $60-million to $70-million value placed on last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Unlike Fusaichi Pegasus, Point Given will not shuttle to the Southern Hemisphere.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- While Point Given heads to the breeding shed, American racing looks for its next Big Horse.
Richard Mulhall, racing manager of Prince Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corp., said there has been "a lot of interest" in standing recently retired Point Given at stud but that "absolutely nothing" has been decided regarding the colt's future as a stallion. Meanwhile, Point Given will be paraded between races on Del Mar's closing program Wednesday and trainer Bob Baffert said the son of Thunder Gulch would be shipped on Thursday to The Thoroughbred Corp. farm in Bradbury Estates near Santa Anita.
Del Mar will honor The Thoroughbred Corporation's recently retired Point Given on Wednesday when the popular chestnut will be paraded prior to the fourth race of the track's closing day card.
Leading Horse of the Year candidate Point Given has been retired because of a strain to the suspensory tendon of his left foreleg, trainer Bob Baffert announced on Friday. The strain was detected on Thursday morning, when Point Given had been expected to return to the track for the first time after his victory in last Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. "I've had to retire a lot of good horses, but I never felt like this," Baffert said. "We were just beginning to tap into his greatness."
Beads of sweat trickled down the face of Prince Ahmed Salman as he entered the winner's circle to await his conquering hero. He was so overwhelmed by what he had just witnessed, even the roar of 60,486 appreciative fans, the largest crowd in Saratoga history, was drowned out by the beating of his own heart.
It was a Travers Day like no other at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. Saratoga and the Travers were never more popular through their long, storied history.
Links to stories relating to Point Given and Saturday's Travers Stakes.
The horse nicknamed "The Big Red Train" rolled through Saratoga Saturday, solidifying his chances at a championship season with his fourth straight grade I victory in the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Point Given's presence adds luster to the Travers Stakes. Will the colt nicknamed "The Big Red Train" continue to roll or will he be derailed by one of today's challengers? Newspaper stories related to the Travers shed some insight.
We don't need studies. We don't need committees. We don't need advisory boards. We don't need commercials. We don't need round tables. We don't need junior committees. We need stars. Simple as that. Point Given is here and the world has followed.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's Point Given, even-money morning line favorite in for Saturday's grade 1, $1 million Travers, drew post seven in the field of nine.
By Sean Clancy
From The Saratoga Special, reprinted with permission
Point Given, heavy favorite for Saturday's 132nd Travers Stakes (gr. I), arrived at Saratoga racecourse at 4:20 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday afternoon, nearly 12 hours after leaving trainer Bob Baffert's barn at Del Mar near San Diego, Calif. The Thunder Gulch colt was bedded down in trainer John Terranova's barn after an uneventful trip in which he was accompanied by Baffert assistant Jim Barnes, groom Roberto Luna, exercise rider Pepe Aragon.
Bob Baffert said Monday that all systems are "go" for The Thoroughbred Corp's Point Given to ship to New York for the Travers Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday. The big Thunder Gulch colt worked five furlongs at Del Mar on Monday morning, getting the distance in :59 1/5 under exercise rider Dana Barnes.
Risen Star Stakes winner Dollar Bill worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 over the main track at Saratoga on Sunday, completing his preparations for next Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Dallas Stewart said Wednesday night that Jorge Chavez will replace Pat Day aboard Dollar Bill in the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes. Day, meanwhile, picked up the mount on Stonerside Stable's This Fleet is Due, who finished a fast-closing fourth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the $1.5 Million Haskell Invitational Handicap.
Before a record crowd for a record purse, Point Given does not disappoint in Monmouth's Haskell.
Classic winner Point Given, the favorite for Sunday's Haskell Invitational (gr. I), arrived at Monmouth Park's Barn 15 at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday after being vanned from Newark Airport.
Trainer Bill Mott has added Stonerside Stable's This Fleet Is Due to the prospective field for Sunday's Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
Belmont and Preakness winner Point Given breezed a sharp five furlongs in :58 4/5 at Del Mar Tuesday morning in preparation for Sunday's Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park.
Point Given, winner of the Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) earlier this year, continued his quest toward the Aug. 5 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) with a six-furlong drill Wednesday morning at Del Mar.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Point Given, winner of two jewels of the Triple Crown this year, has been assigned highweight of 124 pounds for Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational (gr. I) to be run Aug. 5.
Monmouth Park will hike the purse for this year's Haskell Invitational by an additional $500,000 if Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Point Given runs in the Aug. 5 race at the New Jersey track.
Point Gained, the 2-year-old half-sister to Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Point Given, never threatened and finished seventh in a field of eight in the $100,000 Silver Spur Stakes on Sunday at Lone Star Park. It was the stakes debut for Point Gained, a Hennessy filly, after she broke her maiden in her career debut June 20 at Lone Star.
Point Given had his first breeze on Saturday since his dominating performance in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last month. With the Bob Baffert stable's top exercise rider, Dana Barnes, in the saddle, the son of Thunder Gulch went a half-mile at Santa Anita Park in :47 3/5, according to clockers, though Baffert timed Point Given in :48 1/5.
Trainer Bob Baffert said on Thursday that Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Point Given is about one week away from having his first breeze since the Triple Crown. Baffert wouldn't rule out the Aug. 5 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park or the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, but said the only race the son of Thunder Gulch is specifically being pointing toward is the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
- By Steve Haskin
By Steve Haskin -- If the 2001 Triple Crown were a suit, you'd definitely send it back for alterations until it looked just right.
The New York Racing Association has plans for more stalls space at Saratoga. Meanwhile, Point Given and Monarchos could hook up yet again in the Travers Stakes in late August at the upstate New York racetrack.
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