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Gio Ponti Works Five Furlongs on Turf

Gio Ponti worked on the grass Sunday at Belmont Park, but trainer Christophe Clement said that no final decision had been on whether North America’s reigning turf champion will start in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on grass or the $5 million Classic, a 1 1/4 mile dirt race, both at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

In his first work since his impressive victory in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 9, Gio Ponti went five furlongs in 1:03.58 in company with the multiple Grade 1 winner Winchester, a Breeders’ Cup Turf starter who went the same distance in 1:03.94.

Gio Ponti, under exercise rider Jerry Fogarty, began the work about two lengths behind Winchester, who under Christophe Lorieul, went in splits of 12.62 seconds and 27.10 for the first quarter. Turf workouts were conducted around a triple set of orange traffic cones, known as dogs, which forces the horses farther outside than they would be under normal race conditions.
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