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Gio Ponti Better Than Ever

Gio Ponti wins the Arlington Million

Accompanied by Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement, multiple champion Gio Ponti arrived at Keeneland on Tuesday afternoon after a flight from New York to Blue Grass Airport. The 2011 travel schedule for the 6-year-old son of Tale of the Cat has been similar to last year, when he raced in the Dubai World Cup (G1), the Grade 1 Manhattan and Man o’ War at Belmont Park and the Arlington Million (G1) in Chicago before coming to Keeneland. At Keeneland a year ago, he won the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and finished second behind European superstar Goldikova in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

 

“I think he’s doing as good as ever,” Lorieul said about Gio Ponti, whom he jogged once around the main track on Wednesday. “When you believe in numbers, like the Ragozin numbers, he’s running the same number as last year. This year, we had to meet Cape Blanco, who’s obviously a very good horse. (Gio Ponti was second to Cape Blanco in both the Man o’ War and Arlington Million.)

 

“The horse is doing as good as ever. (Saturday’s race) is back to a mile. It’ll be a good thing to see what’s going on. Last year it worked, so hopefully it’ll work again this year. It’s hard to change things when things work.

 

“The weather will be great. The turf will be great. The competition—unfortunately, it’s very tough this year. It’s a very competitive race, but he’s a very good horse. We belong there. It’s a question of luck and the trip, and we’ll see what happens.”

 

Racing for Castleton Lyons, Gio Ponti has won 11 of 27 races and has earned $5,689,800. He will break from post five in the Shadwell Turf Mile with regular rider Ramon Dominguez.

 

 

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