Breeders' Cup Turf runner-up Point of Entry edged out 2011 Kentucky Derby champ Animal Kingdom to capture Saturday's $300,000 Kitten's Joy Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.
Animal Kingdom, second in the Breeders' Cup Mile, was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the six horse field with Point of Entry the 2-1 second choice.
Setting the pace in the 1 1/8-mile grass stakes was Salto with Point of Entry and jockey John Velazquez racing second and Animal Kingdom in fifth in the early going.
Animal Kingdom, ridden by Joel Rosario, quickly moved into second along side Salto with a half-mile to run. Point of Entry was in third as the field hit the far turn.
Around the final turn it was Animal Kingdom, Point of Entry and Unbridled Command on the lead. Coming out of the turn Animal Kingdom and Point of Entry had separated themselves from the field.
The leaders dueled through the stretch with Point of Entry getting by the favorite with less than 100 yards to go. Point of Entry, trained by Shug McGaughey, posted a 1 1/4-length victory over Animal Kingdom who was another 1 1/4-lengths ahead of Unbridled Command.
"We went to the middle of the track and I know Animal Kingdom well. If he would have waited behind me he probably would have beaten me from the quarter- pole home," said Velazquez, who rode Animal Kingdom to victory in the 2011 Kentucky Derby. "He made a move so big that he changed his style to my horse's style, so it worked out to my advantage."
Early leader Salto held on to fourth followed by Where's the Baby and Film Making.
The time for the Turf Handicap was 1:47 flat on a firm course.
"It was kind of fun to watch, even though I was leaning a little bit trying to get him in front going around the turn," McGaughey said. "We're very pleased the way he came back and to win a Grade 1 going a mile-and-an-eighth is another feather in his cap."
Owned by Phipps Stable, Point of Entry added $180,000 to his earnings. The 5-year-old has won eight of 16 career starts for more than $2.6 million and has six wins in his last seven starts.
Point of Entry was second behind Little Mike in the Breeders' Cup Turf as the 2-1 favorite in November at Santa Anita. He registered stakes wins last year in the Elkhorn, Man o'War, Sword Dancer and Turf Classic.
Point of Entry returned $6.20, $2.60 and $2.10. Animal Kingdom paid $2.40 and $2.10, and Unbridled Command paid $2.10 to show.