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What’s Left to Prove After You Almost Beat Interpretation?

Gio Ponti is pointing for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. This is not a surprise. It’s entirely the right move from a risk/reward perspective. But his connections should at least be honest about the reasons why rather than insulting our intelligence with a transparently false explanation.

In describing their reasons for pointing toward the Classic today Christophe Clement said: “…We believe he does not have that much to prove anymore as the leading turf horse in America…

Uh…Really? You just got your doors blown off in the stretch by a horse on a 17 race losing streak who hadn’t won a race since Sept 07, hadn’t hit the board in 6 starts this year, and couldn’t finish in the top half of a 6-horse field at Philly Park in his last start. Nothing left to prove? Seriously?! What about why 43-1 Interpretation was able to come back and beat you easily after you surged past him in the stretch? How about showing you can win at 1 1/2 miles and demonstrating the ability to beat the best in the world on turf including top Europeans in a race like the BC Turf?

Gio Ponti has never won at 12 furlongs and he’s never won a Breeders’ Cup race. He’s never won an Eclipse Award. He had a nice little run this year but we’re not exactly talking about Manilla here. There are still plenty of things left for him to prove in a major race like the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Coming off his Turf Classic performance though he’d be far from a cinch in the Breeders’ Cup turf. A bad loss there and his Eclipse Award could easily disappear. Running in the Classic is strictly about risk/reward – nothing more. By skipping the Turf, he likely wins the Turf Eclipse by default as a loss in the Classic wouldn’t be held against him. At the same time, a win in the Classic offers tremendous upside – more purse money, breeding value, and a possible additional Eclipse as Champion Older Male in an otherwise weak division.

Running in the Classic offers far more upside and far less downside – and that’s really all there is to say about that…so let’s not be ridiculous and pretend otherwise.

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Posted in Breeders' Cup, General Racing Discussion.

10 Responses

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  1. Derek Simon says

    Great article Darrell — right on the mark, I think.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Breeders' Cup Implications on the Eclipse Awards | linked to this post on November 13, 2009

    […] to run nearly as well this year compared to last year in winning the BC Turf – and clearly Gio Ponti running in the Classic was strictly a risk/reward proposition as I discussed previously – however his 4 Grade 1 wins on grass still entitle him to the award.  Nevertheless it […]