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Mathea Kelley

Gio Ponti to Race Next Year

Two-time Eclipse Award winner will be gunning for another championship next year.

Gio Ponti , the 2009 champion grass male and older male for Shane Ryan’s Castleton Lyons, will race as a 6-year-old in 2011 instead of standing at stud. The son of Tale of the Cat  has won 11 of 23 races and has earned $5,037,800, of which $1,884,000 has been earned this year.

“We at Castleton Lyons are delighted to announce that we have decided to keep our dual champion Gio Ponti in training for one more year, with the 2011 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) as our main aim,” Ryan said in a release. “It is an exciting time to have a tough, consistent horse in training as prize money is generally one of the more lucrative sides of our business at the moment. We would like to thank all his fans and well wishers to date. It is our hope that we can continue to campaign him with imagination and of course, success."

Bred in Kentucky in the name Kilboy Estate, Gio Ponti finished second to Zenyatta in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). He won four grade I stakes, all on grass, his championship season, including the Arlington Million Stakes. This year, he captured the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (gr. IT) and his second consecutive Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT) and was runner-up in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).

Gio Ponti, out of the Alydar mare Chipeta Springs, is trained by Christophe Clement.