Gio Ponti Top Choice in Arlington Million

Gio Ponti Top Choice in Arlington Million
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Gio Point is the morning-line favorite for the Arlington Million.
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Einstein  , who stumbled at the start and finished fifth in last year's Arlington Million (gr. IT), drew the inside post for this season’s prestigious turf race at Arlington Park, which will be held Aug. 8.

The 7-year-old Brazilian-bred horse, who has grade I victories this year in the Santa Anita Handicap and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes this year, was installed as the 4-1 second choice in a nine-horse field for the 10-furlong race. He is owned by Midnight Cry Stables, trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
"It's going to be very tough," Pitts-Blasi said. "It would mean a lot to win the Million. With what happened last year and as hard as he tries, you always want the best for him."
The morning line favorite at 5-2 is Gio Ponti  , who has won the grade I Man o' War Stakes and Frank E. Kilroe Mile and Woodford Reserve Manhattan handicaps in his last three starts. The 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat   is owned by Castleton Lyons, trained by Christophe Clement and will break from post six under Ramon Dominguez.
Also in the mix is speedy Presious Passion (post 2, 6-1), the 6-year-old who went wire-to-wire July 4 at Monmouth Park for his second consecutive United Nations (gr. IT) triumph.
Three European starters were entered, including Gloria De Campeao (post 7, 5-1), Cima De Triomphe (post 8, 9-2), and Stotsfold (post 4, 12-1).
Rounding out the field are Just as Well (post 3, 12-1), Mr. Sidney (post 5, 10-1), and Recapturetheglory (post 9, 20-1).
This summer’s Arlington Million gets added international prestige because the winner will receive an automatic invitation to the group I Japan Cup at Tokyo later in the year. Also, the winner is offered a starting position in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) under the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” format.
Other races drawn for Aug. 8 were the fields for the $750,000 Beverley D. (gr. IT) and $400,000 Secretariat (gr. IT) stakes.
In the 1 3/16-mile Beverly D. for fillies and mares, Pure Clan was installed as the 3-1 favorite, with Black Mamba the 7-2 second choice. A field of eight was entered with the winner receiving an automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Illinois-bred Giant Oak   is the tepid 3-1 morning-line favorite in the 1 1/4-mile Secretariat for 3-year-old turfers. A field off 11 was entered.
The Arlington Million is featured on this week's edition of That Handicapping Show.

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