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Point Given's Next Stop May Be Hollywood Park

Horse racing: The July 15 Swaps Stakes is a possibility for winner of Preakness and Belmont.

June 14, 2001|BOB MIESZERSKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Point Given, the winner of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, might make his next start at Hollywood Park.

The $500,000 Swaps Stakes on July 15 could attract the country's top 3-year-old, who dusted A P Valentine, Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos and six others by more than a dozen lengths in the final leg of the Triple Crown last Saturday.

If Point Given runs the Grade I, it would be the most anticipated Swaps Stakes since 1977. That year, Seattle Slew, on the heels of winning the Triple Crown, finished fourth, 16 lengths behind J.O. Tobin. It was the first loss of Slew's career and came in front of more than 68,000 fans.

"We haven't even talked about what we're going to do," said Richard Mulhall, racing manager of Prince Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corporation. "I've seen where we're going to the [$1 million] Travers [on Aug. 25 at Saratoga], but we haven't discussed it yet.

"I don't know how we're going to hold the horse on the ground for a couple of months. The horse is feeling so good. I'll have to meet with the Prince and talk to [trainer Bob] Baffert. I talked to Baffert a little while ago and he said the same thing about not being able to hold the horse down on the ground for two months.

"The Swaps is a possibility, but we don't know for sure yet what we are going to do."

Point Given, whose only loss in five starts this year came when he finished fifth as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, is proven over the Hollywood Park surface.

Last Dec. 16, some six weeks after his nose loss to Macho Uno in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, the chestnut colt won the Hollywood Futurity by a length over Millennium Wind.

Besides Seattle Slew, two other 3-year-olds with more than one win in the Triple Crown races have run the Swaps. Sunday Silence, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before being soundly defeated by Easy Goer in the Belmont, was upset by Prized in 1989, losing a clear lead in the final yards.

Six years later, Point Given's sire, Thunder Gulch, winner of the 1995 Derby and Belmont Stakes, won the Swaps by two lengths as the 9-10 favorite.

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