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Gio Ponti Wins Shadwell; What's Next?

Gio Ponti has been caught nearing the wire three times during a tough-luck campaign in 2010. The dual champion finally had enough of that, this time doing a little catching of his own.

Cutting back to one mile for the first time all year, Gio Ponti niftily split horses in deep stretch under Ramon Dominguez en route to a one-length victory in the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. I) Oct. 9 at Keeneland.
It was the sixth grade I victory for Gio Ponti, the defending champion grass and older horse, and his ninth graded win overall. The 5-year-old son of Tale of the Cat could be headed to the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs, though trainer Christophe Clement would not say for sure. The Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) on dirt is still under consideration for the bay horse, who finished second in that race a year ago at Santa Anita.
But after Saturday’s performance, it would be hard to imagine Gio Ponti not going in the BC Mile. He posted his second grade I win at one mile, having won the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IT) in March 2009 in his last start at the distance. Now with 11 wins from 22 starts, Gio Ponti has earned more than $4.6 million in his extraordinary career.
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Older Comments about Gio Ponti Wins Shadwell; What's Next?...

Tough spot for this horse, but I think he has a better shot at the BC Mile. Turf is his best surface and he's probably the #3 ranked tuf miler right now, behind Goldikova and Proviso. So, with racing luck, he stands a chance in the BC Mile. But, for the BC Classic, he's definately an outsider. He couldn't beat Z last year in the Classic on polytrack; so what chance does he have on dirt against Z and a much stronger field of males than last year's Classic. All of Z, QR, Blame, LAL, and Haynesfield ave better shots in the Classic that Gio Ponti.
Gio Ponti ran a nice race but was not the most impressive turf mile winner at Keeneland on Saturday. Proviso ran a bit faster and finished strong in her G1 First Lady triumph. She beat Grade 1 males at Santa Anita earlier this year. As for Gio Ponti, I agree that ten furlongs is his best distance and I would try the BC Classic. All it takes is a bad draw and his Mile hopes would be dashed.
He goes in the BC Mile and runs very competitively.
I think Gio Ponti is still a class colt. But what do you do with him in this year's Breeders Cup? I believe turf is his best surface. But I also believe 10 furlongs is his best distance. Unfortunately for Gio Ponti, there is no 10 furlong turf even at the Breeders Cup. Only the 10 furlongs of the Classic on conventional dirt. Gio Ponti has always been vulnerable to defeat on turf at 12 furlongs. With European horses like Epsom Derby and Arc De Triomphe winner, Workforce. And Tattersalls Gold Cup and Coronation Cup winner, Fame and Glory both very possible entries into this year's B.C. Turf. You have to ask yourself if your Gio Ponti's connections if he's capable of running against these types of horses. That are multiple G1 winners on turf at 12 furlongs, and regularly thrive at that distance. That leaves Gio Ponti as a possible B.C. Mile-Turf entry. He's won G1 races over a mile on turf throughout his career. But does Gio Ponti have the kind of turn of foot necessary to run with the likes of Goldikova, Paco Boy, Canford Cliffs, or Rip Van Winkle at a mile on turf? I personally think Gio Ponti may be one of those horses that can run well on any surface. If I thought for one minute that Gio Ponti would handle conventional dirt as well as he did synthetics in the 2009 Classic? I wouldn't hesitate racing him again in the 2010 Classic.

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