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Sep 09, 2011

Several options available for Gio Ponti


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Three-time Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti is currently on a break from racing since his second straight runner-up finish in this year's Arlington Million. The six-year-old is owned by Castleton Lyons and trained by Christophe Clement.

Under the care of Christophe Lorieul, assistant to Clement, Gio Ponti is being considered for a couple races before starting in the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs.

"We nominated him to the Woodbine Mile (Sunday, September 18)," said Lorieul. "They were talking about doing the (Woodbine Mile, Shadwell Turf Mile, and Breeders' Cup Mile), but I think it's going to be too close together. You'd have to go to Woodbine, come back, and go to Keeneland. What do you do after? Leave him at Keeneland and train? The boss is not there, and he doesn't want to leave him there by himself the entire time leading up to the Breeders' Cup."

Gio Ponti recorded his last win in the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland back in October and a month later was runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Mile on grass to Goldikova. He began 2011 with a fifth in the Dubai World Cup and was third to Mission Approved in Belmont Park's Manhattan Handicap.

The two-time champion male turf horse has earned nearly $5.7 million in 27 career starts with 11 wins, 10 seconds and a third. On August 13 he was defeated in the Million by Cape Blanco who edged Gio Ponti in the Man o'War in June.

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