Palace Malice, Point of Entry work toward BC targets
Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who is poised to become the leading jockey by
earnings in North American racing history, had a busy Sunday morning at Belmont
Park aboard a pair of horses preparing for starts in the Breeders' Cup in early
November at Santa Anita Park.
|Palace Malice, shown beating Will Take Charge in the July 27 Jim Dandy, will try to settle the divisional Eclipse Award
(NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Velazquez breezed Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice four furlongs in :48
2/5 on the fast training track ahead of the Breeders' Cup Classic, then took the
reins aboard Point of Entry for a bullet five-furlong breeze on the firm inner
turf course. Point of Entry drilled in 1:01 1/5, around the "dogs," in
preparation for his comeback in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
When Velazquez rides Palace Malice in the Classic, he will replace fellow
Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who has opted to ride Game On Dude.
trained by Todd Pletcher for Dogwood Stable, will enter the Classic off a second
to Ron the Greek in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational on September 28 at
"I thought Palace Malice was his normal, very good self," Pletcher said. "A
good work and a strong gallop-out."
Velazquez has been aboard Phipps Stable homebred Point of Entry for all but
two of his nine wins, including five of his six graded stakes scores. Point of
Entry, second in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf, hasn't competed since
undergoing surgery for a condylar fracture detected by his connections after he
picked up his fifth Grade 1 triumph in the Manhattan Handicap in June at
Belmont. His Sunday breeze was his first on the turf since he returned to the
worktab on September 14.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey admits he doesn't have a lot of time to
prepare Point of Entry for the Breeders' Cup Turf, but likes the progress he has
seen from the five-year-old.
|Point of Entry is looking ever more likely to make the Turf
(Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos)
"He worked very well," McGaughey said. "I think we're on the right track. He
galloped out good and strong and finished up good."
Trainer Chad Brown's BC Turf duo of Big Blue Kitten and Real Solution also
exercised on the inner turf, clocking an identical :50 3/5 for a half-mile.
Multiple Grade 1 star Big Blue Kitten just missed in the September 28 Joe Hirsch
Turf Classic Invitational, in which Arlington Million winner Real Solution was
Also on the worktab for the Breeders' Cup was Graydar, who turned in a 1:01
1/5 five-furlong move on the training track. Exercise rider Hector Ramos was aboard
for Pletcher and owner Twin Creeks Racing Stable. Graydar is targeting the
Classic off a victory in Belmont's Kelso Invitational Handicap on September 28.
"Graydar also was very good," Pletcher said. "A strong five-eighths for him.
Hopefully, we're making progress towards the Breeders' Cup Classic with both (Graydar
and Palace Malice)."
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