Point Somewherelse enjoys a special place in Jeff Gregory's stable, and not solely because the stallion is Gregory's only pacer. Point Somewherelse was bred by Bill Weaver, a Hall of Fame breeder and owner who passed away two years ago, and Gregory drove the horse's dam, Don't Point At, during her final season of racing in 2013.
A year later, Gregory decided to cut back on catch driving and return to training horses after a 20-year hiatus from that side of the sport. The first horse he raced from his reconstituted training stable was a Bill Weaver-owned trotting filly. Gregory and Weaver also teamed up with trotter Tight Lines, who has raced at the top levels at Yonkers Raceway.
"It was kind of nice for me to come across another horse of Bill Weaver's because we had such a good history together as friends and business partners," Gregory said. "He's missed by a lot of people.
"Bill didn't have many pacers; (Don't Point At) was one of the few pacers he had. She was an open (level) mare at Yonkers, a really hard-knocking mare."
Point Somewherelse, a 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere, races next in Tuesday's $63,400 Sagamore Hill Series championship at Yonkers. The stallion has won four of six races this year, including two preliminary rounds of the Sagamore Hill. He will start Tuesday's final from post five with Gregory in the sulky.
Other two-time winners in the preliminary rounds of the series were Mach N Cheese, Obscene Blue Chip, and Sometimesawinner. The Kevin Switzer-trained Sometimesawinner, driven by George Brennan, is unbeaten in three races this year and the Sagamore Hill's 5-2 morning-line favorite. Point Somewherelse is the 7-2 second choice.
Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday and the Sagamore Hill final is race No. 7 on Yonkers' 10-race card.
"Post five isn't the end of the world," Gregory said. "It could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse. If things shake out his way, if he gets any sort of a decent trip, he's just as good as the rest of the horses. But it's a tough race for sure. There are other horses in the race just as good as he is. It's kind of an evenly matched field, so it could go any which way."
As a 2 year old, Point Somewherelse won a division of the Liberty Bell Series and finished third in the John Simpson Memorial. He was purchased by Steve Finkelstein's Jesmeral Stable in May of his 3-year-old season from the stable of trainer Noel Daley, who also trained the stallion's dam, Don't Point At.
For his career, Point Somewherelse has won seven of 27 races and earned $130,426 in purses.
"We bought him early summer last year thinking we might have a good 3-year-old for the stakes," Gregory said. "He just wasn't quite good enough for the top horses. The 3-year-olds are so tough; you've got to have a great horse to compete.
"We thought the competition might be a little softer (this) spring. We were hoping to get lucky and find a softer spot. Knock on wood, it's worked out so far, but it's never easy. He seems to get around Yonkers well and Steve Finkelstein lives five minutes from there. Hopefully the horse is going to be a good overnight horse for him for five or six years and whack out a little money."
Gregory, who is based in central New Jersey, has an 18-horse stable, with 17 trotters. Of his trotters, seven are 2 year olds and four are 3 year olds. Over the past two seasons, Gregory has won 46 races and $1.16 million in purses as a trainer and won 100 races and $2.86 million as a driver. For his career, the 51-year-old Gregory has 6,860 driving wins.
"I got super lucky and got great owners," Gregory said. "They're all experienced owners and they know the ups and downs of the business. They give me the time I need with the horses and don't pressure me. And I've got a great staff. (Assistant trainer) Roni Newhart is excellent. She takes a lot of pressure off me. It helps me enjoy the business knowing I have reliable people. It puts your mind at ease."
Gregory, who won the 2005 Hambletonian Oaks with Jalopy and captured a Breeders Crown in 2011 with Chapter Seven, enjoys working with trotters.
"It seems that's how we do our best work," Gregory said. "I think we have a small edge because I can train them and drive them. I get used to them. We're not switching drivers every week. It's great if you can get a top catch-driver every week, but it just doesn't happen unless you've got the best horse in the country.
"I'm enjoying this side of the business again. I like, and my owners like, taking a shot and dreaming on a young horse. Hopefully we can continue doing that. Hopefully it keeps working out." (Ken Weingartner/USTA)