Miss Da Point (Strong Contender) celebrated her last day as a 2-year-old by wiring Aqueduct’s Our Shopping Spree Stakes, a mile and 70-yard contest for New York-bred juvenile fillies run as the final stakes race on the 2012 NYRA calendar.
Stretching out for the first time beyond six furlongs for her stakes debut, and wheeling right back for trainer John Toscana following a fourth-place finish in a first-level state-bred allowance over a good (sealed) Aqueduct inner oval five days earlier, Miss Da Point was bet down from her 12-1 morning line odds to 9-2 third choice (of five) by post time. GoldMark Farm’s stakes-tested Agilion was the bettors’ favorite at 4-5.
Out of gate sharply under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Miss Da Point capitalized on the opportunity to control the pace, getting away with moderate early fractions (25.24, 50.61), while being tracked by 32-1 longshot Flattermewithroses.
As Miss Da Point Led by as much as 2 1/2 lengths through the far turn, Eyes of Midas (Midas Eyes), first off a $25,000 claim by Leo O’Brien out of a win on November 30, made her way up into second along the rail after a rough break – hitting the gate and bumping – which left her last early.
In the stretch Miss Da Point opened up, on her way to a comfortable 4 1/2-length victory. Agilion, runner-up in three previous stakes tries, came barreling down the center of the track, but failed to catch Eyes of Midas for the place, finishing third by a head. Hope for Tomorrow and Flattermewithroses completed the order of finish. After six furlongs in 1:15.43, Miss Da Point completed the one mile and 70 yards over a fast track in a final time of 1:45.02.
Bred by James Roberts and owned by Michael Mellen’s Bran Jam Stable, Miss Da Point’s first stakes victory came in her sixth career start. A 13-length Finger Lakes maiden-breaker at second asking on October 12, Miss Da Point was claimed from Peekaboo Stable and trainer James Acquilano for $50,000 out of her first start downstate, an off-the-board Belmont effort on October 28 sprinting against open allowance foes. The filly made her stakes bow following two more unplaced tries in state-bred company. Miss Da Point’s record now stands at 6-2-1-0 with $66,897 in earnings.
Miss Da Point’s dam is Long Distance Love, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Dehere purchased by James Roberts out of the 2002 OBS Spring 2-year-old sale for $40,000. Unplaced in a single start at two, Long Distance Love has produced five winners from five starters. Her most recent reported foal is a 2011 colt by Grand Reserve named Mighty Grand.