Shadwell Farm

Champion Gio Ponti Wins G1 Shadwell Mile

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Castleton Lyons Farm’s Gio Ponti split horses in deep stretch and drew off to win the 25th running of the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) by one length before a crowd of 22,958 on a picture-perfect fall afternoon at Keeneland.

Ridden by Ramon Dominguez and trained by Christophe Clement, Gio Ponti earned himself a spot in the starting gate for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run on November 6 at Churchill Downs.

A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Tale of the Cat out of the Alydar mare Chipeta Springs, Gio Ponti improved his record to 22-11-7-0 and boosted his career earnings to $4,677,800 with Saturday’s $360,000 paycheck. Gio Ponti was offered for sale as a yearling at Keeneland’s 2006 September Sale.

Longshot Acting Zippy led the field of six through fractions of :24.22, :47.98 and 1:11.91 with Enriched in closest pursuit. Courageous Cat and Get Stormy raced next with Gio Ponti another four lengths back in the run down the backstretch. Turning for home, Enriched quickly joined Acting Zippy as Dominguez waited patiently on Gio Ponti.

Society’s Chairman got the first jump on Gio Ponti, but at the sixteenth pole, Dominguez sent the dual Eclipse Award winner of 2009 between Society’s Chairman and Courageous Cat and coasted to the wire in 1:35.06 over a firm turf course.

“He will enter one of the Breeders’ Cup races; I’m not sure which one,” said Clement, referring to either the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) or the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

Gio Ponti returned $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10. Society’s Chairman, ridden by Julien Leparoux, paid his backers $8 and $3.40 with Courageous Cat, under Patrick Valenzuela, finishing 1¼ lengths back and returning $2.80 to show. Get Stormy was two lengths back in fourth and followed by Enriched and Acting Zippy.