Point Given

Consistent. Dominant. Game. Versatile. Every single one of those words aptly describes this son of 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch and the Turkoman mare, Turko's Turn.

His career began at Del Mar, and it only took two tries for him to break his maiden. Going seven furlongs, he stayed close to the pace before taking over to win for trainer Bob Baffert and the Thoroughbred Corporation, his owner/breeder.

That marked the last time Point Given would sprint. Bred for distance, he was sent to Turfway Park for his stakes debut, the Grade III Kentucky Cup Juvenile. Employing an off the pace style of running, Point Given proved successful in his first foray into routing, winning the 1 1/16 mile event. The race was significant for that reason along with the fact he won a race after shipping to another state. It would not be the last time.

The final three races of Point Given's juvenile season showcased his tenacity. After taking a hard fought second in Belmont Park's Grade I Champagne Stakes, he produced an exciting rally from far back in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, narrowly missing the trophy to Macho Uno. The season finale came back home in California. Favored to win the Grade I Hollywood Futurity, Point Given obliged his backers. Initially well behind the leader, Point Given moved confidently on the backstretch, getting himself into the mix before winning with a workmanlike effort by a small margin. That win put him in the conversation of West Coast Kentucky Derby hopefuls. That was something Baffert knew a thing or two about, having conditioned Silver Charm and Real Quiet to Kentucky Derby wins in 1997 and 1998, respectively.

The Hollywood Futurity also marked the first time Point Given teamed with jockey Gary Stevens, long one of the Southland's top riders. No other jockey would ride Point Given in a race again, and they were just starting what would become a memorable pairing.

With his win in the Hollywood Futurity, Point Given came in first or second in every one of his six starts in 2000.

The chestnut's Kentucky Derby prep season was short. Based at Santa Anita, he first won the Grade II San Felipe Stakes before adding the Santa Anita Derby to his resume. Once more, Point Given demonstated he could handle different running styles. The San Felipe victory came from off the pace, while the Santa Anita Derby saw him in early contention before defeating his rivals. With his win in the latter contest, Point Given assured himself the status of the West's top prospect to win the Kentucky Derby. He had the pedigree for it, his sire having won the race six years earlier with none other than Stevens in the saddle.

Unfortunately for Point Given and the connections, victory in the Derby was not to be. He was in contention for part of the race, but faded to fifth as Monarchos took one of the fastest Derbies in history. But like his father before him, Point Given was destined for classic success.

Returning to off the pace tactics, Point Given avenged his Derby loss in the Preakness, then joined Thunder Gulch as champion of the Belmont Stakes, winning by double digits while setting one of the fastest times in the race's history (for 1 1/2 miles). Wisely staying close to the front, Stevens experienced what one might call a blast from the past, guiding one of Thunder Gulch's sons to victory in the Test of the Champion.

Undoubtedly the top ranked sophomore in the United States, Point Given resurfaced in the Grade I Haskell Invitational in early August, long a traditional stop for three-year-olds. Again spotting the leader several lengths in the early goings, Point Given showed his gameness, battling Touch Tone and Burning Roma in a thrilling conclusion before getting to the wire in time. He duplicated that effort in the Grade I Travers at Saratoga a few weeks later. Long known as the "graveyard of favorites," the Spa did not conquer Point Given. With his white blinkers and flair for the dramatic, the dual classic winner engaged E Dubai for a moment before asserting his toughness, winning the Midsummer Derby.

The Travers turned out to be the final race for Point Given, who retired with nine wins and three seconds in thirteen starts while earning close to $4 million. That overall record showed just how much of a brilliant racehorse he was on the track:

-Eight graded stakes wins, five of them being Grade I contests.

-A winner at eight different racetracks across the United States.

-A winner at five different distances, and he won sprinting and routing.

Point Given's work earned him both Top Three-Year-Old and Horse of the Year honors at the Eclipse Awards, and he was later inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame in 2010.

After reporting for stud duty at Three Chimneys Farm, where he stayed for the majority of his time as a stallion. The last few seasons saw him at Calumet Farm before being pensioned in 2018, and he was then relocated to Kentucky Horse Park, where he currently stays.

As a sire, Point Given has produced several talented racehorses, with Call Me George, Coil, Go Between, Points of Grace, and Sealy Hill among his most successful offspring, and Points of Grace and Sealy Hill went on to be named champions in Canada racing. Sealy Hill achieved three Sovereign Awards for her 2007 campaign, winning Horse of the Year, Champion Grass Mare, and Champion Three-Year-Old Filly. Points of Grace won her Sovereign Award in 2009, for she was named Champion Grass Mare.

Years after they watched him on television and the stands, many who saw Point Given remember him fondly. He was an interesting and fun horse to watch, for he could win using different methods, and he always gave his all on race days. He loved to win, but whether Point Given won or lost, he earned respect, and that respect continues in the present day.

When watching races of Point Given, his fans remember those exciting moments and the brilliance on display. For those who will be introduced to him in the coming years, they will find that Point Given was a tough competitor who earned every one of his achievements.

They will see a true racehorse.

Entry added March 2, 2020 by AF.