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Jul 20, 2012

Point of Entry captures Man o'War


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Point of Entry, ridden by Jose Lezcano, passed pacesetter Center Divider in mid-stretch on his way to capturing Saturday's 54th running of the $600,000 Man o'War Stakes at Belmont Park. The four-year- old colt covered the 1 3/8 miles in 2:13.87 over a firm turf course.

Taking the lead from the gate was 17-1 longshot Center Divider along with jockey Rosie Napravnik. Sticking right with the pacesetter was Point of Entry who was sent off as the 5-2 second choice behind 9-10 favorite Treasure Beach.

The top two horses took the field into the backstretch closely followed by Tahoe Lake, Hudson Steele, Newsdad and Treasure Beach. Trailing the field was Game Ball. The Man o'War field was reduced to seven with the scratch of Philly Ace.

Entering the far turn Point of Entry drew even with Center Divider as Tahoe Lake drew closer in third. Also gaining ground on the turn was Newsdad as Treasure Beach fell back.

Coming into the stretch Point of Entry and Center Divider were on even terms and separating themselves from the rest of the field. Inside the eighth pole Point of Entry passed Center Divider and began to open up nearing the wire.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Point of Entry registered a 3 1/2 length victory over Center Divider with Tahoe Lake finishing third. Newsdad held on to fourth followed by Treasure Beach, Hudson Steele and Game Ball.

Owned by Phipps Stable, Point of Entry notched his third straight win and collected $360,000. The four-year-old has career earnings of $574,490 with five wins in 12 starts. He has won four of seven lifetime starts on the grass for $528,000.

Point of Entry won both April starts at Keeneland, the second being the Elkhorn Stakes. Finishing second in both races was Tahoe Lake.

"His two races at Keeneland were good races," McGaughey said, "and I just thought after I ran him back in [15] days [between an allowance victory on April 12 and the Elkhorn on April 27] that I'd give him a bit of a blow here and hopefully have a fresh horse for the rest of the year. I think he's a true mile-and three-eighths to a mile-and-a-half kind of horse."

Lezcano was aboard the colt for the first time, substituting for the injured John Velazquez.

Point of Entry returned $7.90, $4.00 and $3.00. Center Divider paid $9.70 and $5.10, and Tahoe Lake paid $5.40 to show.

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