After facing much tougher company in recent starts, Russo Racing and Gatto Hollendorfer’s Point Piper traveled to the Pacific Northwest and found success in the G3 Longacres Mile, romping by nearly four lengths in Emerald Downs’ premier race. The 6-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway broke the track record in the process under Mario Gutierrez, covering a mile over the fast main track in 1:32.90 (previous record of 1:33 flat was set in 2003 by Sky Jack). Jerry Hollendorfer trains both Point Piper and the second-place finisher Cyrus Alexander.
As expected, local favorite O B Harbor jumped out of the gate to take the lead, accompanied by Prime Engine through a first quarter in a sharp :22 3/5. O B Harbor extended that lead to two lengths over Prime Engine, who was another five lengths in front of Sabado Alegre down the backstretch. Cyrus Alexander was tucked in behind that runner and Point Piper was right alongside. O B Harbor marked the half mile fraction in :44 3/5 before he began to come back to the field a bit, with Cyrus Alexander making the first big challenge toward the leader.
At the head of the lane, O B Harbor held a 1 1/2-length advantage over Cyrus Alexander, and Point Piper was moving well several lengths behind his stablemate while three wide. As Gutierrez angled him out a bit further, Point Piper took off down the center of the track, overcoming his stablemate with ease and powering away to a nearly four-length victory. Cyrus Alexander ran on well to be second, and O B Harbor managed to hold third. Alert Bay was fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Barronstown Stud, Point Piper was purchased as a 3-year-old at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Horses of Racing Age Sale for $ 80,000 after breaking his maiden overseas. He began his United States career in allowance company, and has been placed in multiple graded stakes races as he has improved with age. The Longacres Mile is Point Piper’s first graded stakes victory, and improves his overall record to 5-5-4 from 24 starts, with earnings of just under $ 400,000.
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