Owned by Pinnacle Racing Stables, Norman Stables, Roger Justice and Jack Hendricks, the son of Concorde Point received a ground-saving ride under jockey Juan Leyva to prevail by a neck in the 1 1/16-mile turf event for 3-year-olds.
“The horse has a lot of talent and a lot of heart. When he doesn’t get in trouble he usually gives a great performance,” said trainer Bill Kaplan, whose gelding finished fifth, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, in the Penn Mile (G3) last time out.
My Point Exactly, the 2-1 second choice, was rated just behind the pace set by longshot My Cowboy into the stretch before splitting horses late to register his first victory in his four-race 2015 campaign that was kicked off with an off-the-board finish in the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1). Black Martino, who closed with an outside rush under jockey Eddie Castro, finished second, a neck ahead of My Cowboy. Rizwan, who was narrowly favored over My Point Exactly at 2-1, was never a factor after breaking from the far-outside post position in the field of nine.
My Point Exactly, who broke his maiden by 10 ½ lengths over Gulfstream Park’s main track last August, collected his second stakes victory on turf in the King Cugat after covering the distance in 1:40.88. The Florida-bred gelding captured the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs last September.
“He’s a really good horse. I’m still not sure if he likes turf or dirt, to be honest with you,” trainer Bill Kaplan said. “He’s a game son of a gun and got a great ride today.”
Kaplan is undecided on My Point Exactly’s next start.
“There are some options. There’s the Kent at Delaware (Grade 3; 1 1/8 miles on turf; July 18) and there are also big derbies around the country on dirt,” Kaplan said.
A stretch out in distance and a change in race tactics made a winning difference for Little Dreams Racing’s Little Alexis earlier on Saturday’s card, as the 4-year-old filly scored a determined victory over Best Behavior in the $60,000 Barely Even Handicap.
Little Alexis, a participant in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, raced a one-turn mile for the first time in the Barely Even. Under Tyler Gaffalione, the typically late-striding filly was positioned much closer to the pace than usual, sitting just off the 6-5 favorite in Best Behavior. After a 48.21-second half-mile, Little Alexis turned up the pressure, and at the top of the stretch, she engaged Best Behavior in a spirited duel to the finish. At the wire, the Carlo Vaccarezza trainee had a neck-advantage. The final time was 1:26.40.
“I know she’s a very talented filly, and she’s never got a good break,” Vaccarezza said. “After the Breeders’ Cup, everything was going downhill, but I think this is the distance for her – seven-eighths to a mile – and we’ll see. I think she ran against a group of nice fillies today, and she proved it. I’ll be honest, at the top of the lane I thought she was going to give up, but she kept digging and digging and digging.”
Little Alexis paid $6.40 to win and improved her record to 3-2-1 from nine starts. The Barely Even was her second career stakes victory. Best Behavior returned $3.00 to place, while Lemon Lashes, 7 ¼ lengths back in third, paid $4.00 to show.