The following post first appeared earlier this week at Paulick Report.
With his second Grade 1 victory in succession, Point of Entry has shown himself the leading middle-distance turf horse in the East, if not the entire country. On Saturday, the 4-year-old bay colt won the Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga, racing the 12 furlongs on firm turf in 2:26.40 to win by four lengths from the Medaglia d’Oro horse Al Khali, with Brilliant Speed third.
Both Point of Entry and Brilliant Speed are sons of the late Dynaformer, one of the most consistent sires of classic aptitude in North American breeding and the last top-level son of English Derby winner Roberto at stud. In addition to the Sword Dancer result, Dynaformer was represented by his son Margano, one of the full brothers to Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who ran second in the Capitol City Stakes at Penn National.
Dynaformer was a G2 winner in a career of 30 races that spanned three seasons, and the 17-hand dark brown son of Roberto tended to get stock similar to himself that improved radically with age and distance, with a handful like Barbaro showing the versatility and quick change of pace to allow them to compete on different surfaces and at different distances.
When seen training on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga, Point of Entry was typical of his sire’s stock: sizable, rangy, with good bone and plenty of frame. From his overall appearance and race record, he would appear to be a talented Dynaformer who needed time to strengthen and fill out to find his best form.
And that is mighty good form.
The winner in four of his five starts this year, Point of Entry has appeared to get better with every start from the G2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland to the G1 Man o’ War and now the Sword Dancer.
Bred and raced by the Phipps Stable, Point of Entry is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Matlacha Pass, a full sister to Pleasant Home (G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff) and Country Hideaway (G2 First Flight Handicap twice). All three are out of the unraced Pleasant Colony mare Our Country Place. She is one of the daughters of Alabama Stakes winner Maplejinsky (Nijinsky), who is a daughter of champion sprinter Gold Beauty.
This is a very athletic, very deep, very high-quality family that has speed and stamina. It has been breeding on for generations at the highest level.
Although Matlacha Pass did not match her sisters by winning graded stakes, the mare had ability, and she won two of her three starts, earning $59,400. As a daughter of a top sire and excellent broodmare sire in Seeking the Gold, Matlacha Pass had obvious prospects as a producer, and the mare’s female family has a sequence of important producers that enhanced her desirability.
This kind of quality is relatively commonplace among the Phipps Stable broodmares, who have included some of the greatest dams in the breed among their historic number. But even among such a grouping of important racemares and producers, Matlacha Pass was apparently considered one of the better animals and quickly proved herself a notable member.
We can infer that Matlacha Pass was a premium prospect because her first mate was Storm Cat, and the filly who resulted from that mating became stakes-placed Chili Cat. In fact, from Matlacha Pass’s first half-dozen foals, the mare has produced three stakes horses, including a pair of G1 winners.
The mare’s second foal confirmed Matlacha Pass’s standing as an excellent broodmare. The second foal was named Pine Island, and the dark brown daughter of Arch won four of her seven starts, including the G1 Alabama Stakes and Gazelle, and was second in the G1 Mother Goose and CCA Oaks. In Pine Island’s final start, and only other loss, the talented filly broke down in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs and was euthanized.
The mare’s subsequent foals have included the useful winner Streaker (Forest Wildcat), a winner in four of nine starts who earned $126,402, and Point of Entry is his dam’s sixth foal.
Matlacha Pass was barren in 2009 and does not have a 3-year-old, but her 2-year-old is a filly by Tiznow named Caxambas Pass. The mare’s yearling is a colt by Giant’s Causeway named Survival, and she foaled a dark bay colt by Medaglia d’Oro on April 7 this year.