Court Vision Gets Revenge on Gio Ponti
IEAH Stables and WinStar Farm’s Court Vision , who lost to Gio Ponti by a nose in the July 19 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) (VIDEO), turned the tables on his rival Oct. 4 in the $250,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT), as the son of Gulch edged in front in mid-stretch and went on win by a three parts of a length on the Belmont turf.
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Court Vision was fifth through most of the backstretch, came four-wide into the stretch while passing tiring rivals and took a narrow advantage just inside the eighth-pole. He was joined by Gio Ponti, who found room along the rail under Alan Garcia, and those two dueled as they did in the Virginia Derby. However, this time it was Court Vision who had the more left in the final sixteenth.
“I had a really great trip,” said Dominguez, who took over the mount for injured John Velazquez. “There was a lot of bouncing going on, but between the five-eighths pole and the half-mile pole, he got pretty rank and pushed his way out and bumped into Gio Ponti. After that, Gio Ponti decided to on and save the ground. I positioned my horse on the outside, hoping to get a clear trip. Sure enough, Gio Ponti was second around the turn and had to check again.
“I don’t want to take anything away from my horse. He drew off pretty nicely on the last part and we certainly had a great trip as well.”
The final time for 1 1/8 miles on the ‘firm’ turf was 1:49.75. Gio Ponti, a two-time graded stakes winner this season, settled for runner-up, five lengths in front of Ready’s Echo. Wesley was fourth in a field of six 3-year-olds.
Thou Swell was the early leader in the Jamaica, taking the field through half-mile splits of :24.92 and :49.95. Roman Tiger, who pressed the pace for four furlongs, joined Thou Swell around the turn and took a short advantage with Wesley and Gio Ponti giving chase. Roman Tiger was first to the quarter-pole, but Court Vision had already begun his move on the outside and was poised to take over.
Court Vision, who is trained by Bill Mott, was making just his third career start on turf. Prior to the Virginia Derby he was a well-beaten fourth in the Colonial Cup Turf (gr. IIIT). Most recently, the dark bay colt finished sixth in the Aug. 23 Travers (gr. I) at Saratoga.
One of the key contenders on the Triple Crown trail earlier this season, Court Vision ran third in both the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Wood Memorial (gr. I) before finishing 13th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Court Vision paid $7, $3.20 and $2.40 as the second choice. The exacta (5-4) with odds-on choice Gio Ponti returned $14.20. The trifecta (5-4-6) was worth $57.
The winner is out of the Storm Bird mare Weekend Storm. He was bred in Kentucky by Will Farish and Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership. Overall, Court Vision has produced a 4-2-2 record from 11 starts.
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