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2012 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Flower Bowl Invitational

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Point of Entry wins the 2012 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational
Point of Entry wins the 2012 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational

Point of Entry wins the 2012 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park

© Cindy Pierson Dulay
September 29, 2012

There are two stakes races on Gold Cup day contested over the turf. Rain on Friday rendered the course yielding with slow times the order of the day. The $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1), at 1 1/2 miles on the Widener course, is Belmont Park's "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Turf. Point of Entry was sent off as the 3-4 favorite in the field of 6 off a four race winning streak including the Man O'War (G1) and Sword Dancer (G1). In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Little Mike, winner of the Arlington Million (G1) last out, and 9-2 third choice Treasure Beach, 6th in the Arlington Million (G1) and winless since the 2011 Secretariat (G1).

Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent Little Mike to the lead first time by and he set easy fractions of 25.70, 51.99, and 1:18.16 while pressed by Treasure Beach and Point of Entry. With 4 furlongs to go, Jamie Spencer sent Treasure Beach to the front through 1 mile in 1:43.67 and 10 furlongs in 2:08.29. At the 3/16 pole Point of Entry moved out for room and rallied, passing Treasure Beach with a furlong to go, winning by 1 3/4 lengths in 2:33.73 over the yielding course. It was a long 2 1/2 lengths back to 24-1 Kindergarden Kid third.

Results chart

Also on the card were the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Kelso Handicap, the Beldame Stakes, and the Vosburgh Stakes.

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