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Oct 15, 2010

Gio Ponti takes Shadwell Mile at Keeneland


Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Heavy favorite Gio Ponti split horses down the stretch to win Saturday's $600,000 Shadwell Mile on the turf at Keeneland Race Course.

Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Gio Ponti got a good start in the six horse field and settled off the pace several lengths behind the leaders. With a half-mile to run, Dominguez got the two-time Eclipse Award winner to begin his rally.

Around the final turn Gio Ponti moved right behind the leaders and then to the outside entering the stretch. At the top of the stretch the favorite still found himself a few lengths behind the leaders.

Dominguez squeezed his mount between horses with less than a 100 yards to run and surged to the lead. Gio Ponti hit the wire a length ahead of second-place finisher Society's Chairman.

Courageous Cat was third followed by Get Stormy, Enriched and Acting Zippy.

The 4-5 favorite covered the mile in 1:35.06 on a firm course.

Gio Ponti returned $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10. Society's Chairman paid $8.00 and $3.40, and Courageous Cat paid $2.80 to show.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Gio Ponti has now won half his 22 career starts with more than $4.6 million in earnings. Clement was using the Shadwell Mile as a tune-up for Gio Ponti's next start in the Breeders' Cup.

Owned by Castleton Lyons Farm, Gio Ponti was voted 2009 champion older male thoroughbred and older male turf horse. He finished second to Zenyatta in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic.

The five-year-old was coming off a runner-up result in the Arlington Million, a race he won last year. This year in six starts he has two wins and three seconds for nearly $1.5 million.

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