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Gio Ponti
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Gio Ponti to Stand at Castleton Lyons

Three-time champion won 11 stakes including seven grade I events.

Castleton Lyons’ three-time homebred champion Gio Ponti  has been retired from racing to stand at stud in 2012 at the Lexington farm. His fee is $20,000 payable Nov. 1.

Gio Ponti is by Tale of the Cat  out of the stakes-placed Alydar mare Chipeta Springs and is a half brother to stakes winners Bon Jovi Girl and Fisher Pond.

“We are delighted to welcome Gio Ponti back home to the farm where he was bred and raised,” said Castleton Lyons president Shane Ryan. “The horse has had an amazing racing career with seven grade I wins, three Eclipse Awards, and in the money (performances) 23 out of 29 lifetime starts.

“Gio Ponti displayed great consistency, versatility, and class, and retires completely sound after five very successful years on the track. I would like to thank (trainer) Christophe Clement and all of his staff for handling Gio Ponti with such expertise, and I hope breeders will back him and get rewarded in the future with his offspring. We will be strongly supporting Gio Ponti with our best mares as we endeavor to give him every opportunity to succeed as a stallion and feel that a stud fee of $20,000 represents very good value for the breeder.”

First or second in 22 of 29 starts, Gio Ponti was a stakes winner all five years he raced, plus a graded stakes winner four straight years and a grade I winner his last three years. He was voted champion older male in 2009 and champion grass male in 2009-10.

Gio Ponti won the 2009 Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT) and twice ran second in the race. He captured consecutive runnings of the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT) and was second once and also won two straight runnings of the  Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (gr. IT) including this year’s renewel.

In the Breeders’ Cup, he finished second to Zenyatta in the 2009 Classic (gr. I) and was runner-up to Goldikova in the 2010 TVG Mile (gr. IT). This year, he finished fourth in the TVG Mile in what was his final start.

Also on the international stage, Gio Ponti finished fifth in this year’s Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-I) and was fourth in last year's running of the $10 million race. He was retired with a dozen wins and earnings of $6,169,800, good enough to rank No. 20 on the all-time leading earners list of North American-based runners.

Gio Ponti is available for inspection at Castleton Lyons between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.