Although he was cross-entered with the Breeders' Cup Classic listed as first preference, the trainer of Gio Ponti said today he is probable for the Mile.
Gio Ponti and dual grade I winner It’s Tricky had their final works over their home track today in preparation for upcoming engagements in Breeders’ Cup.
Gio Ponti, with exercise rider Jerry Fogarty up, worked five furlongs in company over Belmont Park’s inner turf in 1:02.11, according to NYRA clockers. The 6-year-old son of Tale of the Cat broke off about 1 1/2 length behind stablemate Chardsey, and finished a length in front. Chardsey was clocked in 1:02.50.
“It was a very, very good work,” said Christophe Clement, who trains Gio Ponti for Castleton Lyons. “He was very relaxed and I was pleased with his gallop-out. He will ship to Kentucky on Tuesday.”
As was the case last year, Gio Ponti was pre-entered in both the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which was listed as his first preference, and the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
“He will most likely go to the Mile,” said Clement. In 2009 Gio Pontia was runner-up to Zenyatta in the Classic run on Santa Anita's synthetic track, and last year he finished second to Goldikova in the Mile.
Ladies’ Classic candidate It’s Tricky, working in company with stablemate Redding Colliery, was credited with a five-furlong work in a bullet 1:00.10 over Belmont’s main track, with NYRA clockers catching her going a half-mile in :47.65.
“It was a very nice work; we were happy,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. This year, It's Tricky has won the Grade I TVG Acorn and the Grade I TVG Coaching Club American Oaks.
“We worked her last Tuesday, and with the rain coming, we decided to work her today. She’s plenty fit, so we won’t do anything more with her. We did something different, went to the main track today; it’s in good shape, it’s a little quieter, and it picks her head up to go somewhere different. All systems are go.”
McLaughlin said his remaining Breeders’ Cup contenders--Alpha (Juvenile), Miss Netta (Juvenile Fillies), Trappe Shot (Dirt Mile) and Rattlesnake Bridge (Classic)--will work this weekend, with all scheduled to ship by van to Churchill Downs on Monday.
--Edited NYRA release with additional content by Dick Downey