Gio Ponti (horse)

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Gio Ponti
Sire Tale of the Cat
Grandsire Storm Cat
Dam Chipeta Springs
Damsire Alydar
Sex Stallion
Foaled 2005
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Kilboy Estate
Owner Castleton Lyons
Trainer Christophe Clement
Record 29: 12-10-1
Earnings $6,169,800[1]
Major wins
Bourbon Stakes (2007)
Hill Prince Stakes (2008)
Sir Beaufort Stakes (2008)
Virginia Derby (2008)
Manhattan Handicap (2009)
Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (2009)
Man o' War Stakes (2009, 2010)
Arlington Million (2009)
Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (2010, 2011)

Breeders' Cup placings:
2nd, Breeders' Cup Classic (2009)
Breeders' Cup Mile (2010)
American Champion Male Turf Horse (2009, 2010)
American Champion Older Male Horse (2009)
Last updated on March 25, 2010

Gio Ponti (foaled February 28, 2005 in Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred race horse who was the Champion Turf Horse in 2009 and 2010, and finished second to Zenyatta in the 2009 Breeder's Cup Classic. He was sired by Tale of the Cat, a son of Storm Cat, out of the stakes-placed Alydar mare Chipeta Springs, making him half-brother to stakes-winner Fisher Pond.

During his racing career, Gio Ponti was owned by Castleton Lyons and trained by Christophe Clement,[2]

Racing career[edit]

Named for a well-known Italian artist and architect,[3] Gio Ponti became one of the best American turf horses of all time. He began racing in the silks of Shane Ryan's Castleton Lyons Farm under Trainer Christophe Clement and broke his maiden in his first start as a two-year-old at Belmont Park, winning by 2½ lengths. He was then was entered in the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in his second start, where he scored the first stakes win of his career. After an unplaced effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, he was given time off to prepare for his 3 year old campaign.

As a 3 year old, Gio Ponti gained graded stakes success in the G3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont, the G2 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs, and the G3 Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita. He was also runner up in the G2 Del Mar Derby at Del Mar and the G2 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont. By the end of his three-year-old year he had $820,800 in career earnings over the turf and synthetic surfaces.

At age 4, the bay colt won four consecutive Grade One races: the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap, the Manhattan Handicap, the Man o' War Stakes, and the Arlington Million, thus making him one of the favorites for the Breeders' Cup Turf. After a stunning upset[4] in the Turf Classic Invitational, his owners decided to point him towards the Breeders' Cup Classic instead, which was run at a more favorable distance of 1¼ miles, as opposed to the Turf's 1½ mile distance. However, Gio Ponti lost to the undefeated mare Zenyatta.[5]

Shortly after the Breeders' Cup Classic, Gio Ponti's connections announced he would remain in training for 2010 and be pointed toward the Dubai World Cup. He started the year with a second in the Tampa Bay stakes. In the Dubai World Cup, he was boxed in and then went to the far outside, earning fourth.[6]

In 2010, Gio Ponti first raced at Belmont Park, where he was second in the Manhattan Handicap, and first in the Man O' War Stakes. He then ran in the Arlington Million but lost to Debussy. At Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky, under jockey Ramon A. Dominguez he won the Shadwell Turf Mile, earning a spot in the Breeders Cup with a "Win and You're In" race title. In the 2010 Breeders' Cup Mile, Gio Ponti ran second to the mare Goldikova. As Clement once put it, "He is very well educated - ladies first." His efforts earned him the title of Eclipse Male Turf champion for the second straight year.

In 2011, Gio Ponti won the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile, finished second in the Arlington Million and Man O' War, and ran fourth in his fourth Breeder's Cup start, this time in the Mile. He earned 6.1 million dollars in 28 starts, making him one of the richest Thoroughbreds in America of all time.


Pedigree of GIO PONTI
Tale of the Cat
Storm Cat Storm Bird Northern Dancer
South Ocean
Terlingua Secretariat
Crimson Saint
Yarn Mr. Prospector Raise A Native
Gold Digger
Narrate Honest Pleasure
Chipeta Springs
Alydar Raise A Native Native Dancer
Raise You
Sweet Tooth On-and-On
Plum Cake
Salt Spring (ARG) Salt Marsh Tom Rolfe
Jungle Mythologic (ARG) Mount Athos (GB)
Jungle Queen (ARG)

Race Record[edit]

Finish Race Date Distance Jockey Time Margin Grade Track Notes
4th Breeders' Cup Mile 11/05/2011 1 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:37.05 2 I Churchill Downs
1st Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes 10/08/2011 1 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:34.17 1 I Keeneland
2nd Arlington Million 08/13/2011 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:07.01 212 I Arlington Park
2nd Man o' War Stakes 06/09/2011 138 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:14.06 214 I Belmont Park
3rd Manhattan Handicap 05/11/2011 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:06.32 I Belmont Park
5th Dubai World Cup 03/26/2011 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:05.94 I Meydan
2nd Breeders' Cup Mile 11/06/2010 1 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:35.16 134 I Churchill Downs
1st Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes 10/09/2010 1 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:35.06 1 I Keeneland
2nd Arlington Million 08/21/2010 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:03.01 1/2 I Arlington Park
1st Man o' War Stakes 07/10/2010 138 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:16.20 Neck I Belmont Park
2nd Manhattan Handicap 06/05/2010 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:59.46 1/2 I Belmont Park
4th Dubai World Cup 03/27/2010 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:03.83 114 I Meydan Racecourse
2nd Tampa Bay Stakes 02/20/2010 1116 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:42.16 Nose Listed Tampa Bay Downs
2nd Breeders' Cup Classic 11/07/2009 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:00.62 1 I Santa Anita Park
2nd Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational 10/03/2009 112 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:41.22 134 I Belmont Park
1st Arlington Million 08/08/2009 114 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:04.19 114 I Arlington Park
1st Man o' War Stakes 07/11/2009 138 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 2:12.56 134 I Belmont Park
1st Manhattan Handicap 06/06/2009 114 mi Garrett K. Gomez 2:02.91 112 I Belmont Park
1st Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap 03/07/2009 1 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:33.65 Nose I Santa Anita Park
5th Strub Stakes 02/07/2009 118 mi Garrett K. Gomez 1:48.22 112 II Santa Anita Park
1st Sir Beaufort Stakes 12/26/2008 1 mi Garrett K. Gomez 1:34.92 112 III Santa Anita Park
7th Hollywood Derby 11/30/2008 114 mi Garrett K. Gomez 2:01.43 212 I Santa Anita Park
2nd Jamaica Handicap 10/04/2008 118 mi A Garcia 1:49.75 3/4 II Belmont Park
2nd Del Mar Derby 08/31/2008 118 mi Garrett K. Gomez 1:46.68 1/2 II Del Mar Racetrack
1st Virginia Derby 07/19/2008 114 mi Garrett K. Gomez 2:02.22 Nose II Colonial Downs
1st Hill Prince 06/06/2008 1 mi Garrett K. Gomez 1:35.03 2 III Belmont Park
8th Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf 10/26/2007 1 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:40.48 8 Listed Monmouth Park
1st Bourbon Stakes 10/07/2007 1116 mi Ramon A. Dominguez 1:45.92 112 Listed Keeneland
1st Maiden Special Weight 09/07/2007 7 furlongs Garrett K. Gomez 1:22.01 212 Belmont Park