turf Champion Gio Ponti had his first work Saturday since a fifth-place finish in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on
March 26. Originally scheduled for last Sunday, trainer Christophe Clement
opted to postpone the move for a week, breezing the 6-year-old a half-mile in
company with the Argentine-bred Group 1 winner Interaction, who has
raced only abroad and most recently finished seventh in the Group 2 Dubai City
of Gold at Meydan on March 3.
The pair was clocked in 49.55 over Belmont’s
firm turf course.
“It was a good work and he went well,” Clement said. “Both
horses came back in good order.”
Clement said last week that depending on how Gio Ponti
trains, he could return in the Grade 1, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan
Handicap, a 1 ¼-mile turf race on the Belmont Stakes day undercard. Gio Ponti,
who is campaigned by Castleton Lyons, won the race in 2009 and lost by a
half-length to stablemate Winchester
in last year’s renewal.
Clement added that Ghislaine Head’s Right One,
winner of his U.S. debut in a Gulfstream allowance optional claimer on April 1
and the Island Sun, a turf overnight stakes at Belmont Park on Thursday, was
likely to make his next start here in the Grade 3 Poker Handicap on June 10.