By Dick Downey
A release from Castleton Lyons late Monday says Gio Ponti will compete in the Breeders' Cup Mile, not the Classic. The turf specialist has never run on dirt. Most recently, he won the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. Gio Ponti will try to prevent Goldikova from capturing her third straight Breeders' Cup Mile.
Gio Ponti was pre-entered in both races, and it was previously thought that he would try the dirt for the first time in the Classic.
“Having thought long and hard about our choices, we have decided to enter our dual champion in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. As tempting as the Classic is, we were awed with his last trip over the mile course at Keeneland when winning the Shadwell Mile.
"It is due to this professional performance that we feel we must take on the best milers in the world, including a showdown with Goldikova. I’m not sure which filly is more feared, Goldikova or Zenyatta. Either way neither race is a picnic! We are very much looking forward to the challenge. At this point we would like to wish all the connections in both races the very best of luck,” Shane Ryan, President of Castleton Lyons, said in a prepared statement.