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Horse Racing Odds - Gio Ponti vaults to the head of the class

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:06:56 AM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Gio Ponti, Zenyatta
  • What: Horse Racing Odds – Results of The Arlington Million, The Clement L. Hirsch
  • Where: Arlington, Del Mar
  • When: Saturday and Sunday, August 8th and 9th

Against the best field of older turf runners assembled in North America this year, Gio Ponti made it look relatively easy if you bet horses, winning the prestigious Arlington Million by 1 ¼ lengths. Left in his wake was Einstein, winner of three Grade 1’s in his last five turf starts, Presious Passion, first or second in his last six starts, including a win in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes most recently, top miler Mr. Sidney, and Gloria de Campeao, winner of the Group 1, $2 million Singapore Airlines International Cup last out. He’s clearly the top turfer in North America at this point in the season.

My selection, Presious Passion, faded to finish last after opening up his customary big early lead. I did issue a caution in Friday’s article, however, stating that, “...if the course is softened up by rain late in the week, I’ll probably scale down my play, as he prefers firm going.” Well, the rains came, the turf was listed as “good”, and jockey Elvis Trujillo reported after the race that Presious Passion didn’t handle the going.

In The Whitney at Saratoga, Commentator set the pace, but wasn’t able to withstand the late charge of eventual winner Bullsbay, and second-place finisher Macho Again. Bullsbay was overlooked in the online betting, returning $39.60, $12.00 and $5.90 to his handful of backers.

The magnificent mare Zenyatta kept her unbeaten streak alive in The Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar on Sunday, but it wasn’t easy. A dawdling pace and an overconfident ride by jockey Mike Smith left her with a lot to do at the top of the lane, and the front-runners weren’t backing up. She showed her tremendous will to win by covering the final quarter-mile in a blistering :22.49 seconds to get up by a head at the wire. What a marvelous horse racing result!

I know it’s unlikely that she’ll face the brilliant 3YO filly Rachel Alexandra, but why not have them both show up in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga on September 5th, and settle things on the racetrack? Zenyatta would have 27 days between races, and Rachel would have five weeks, so neither would have a big advantage schedule-wise. Zenyatta won her only start on dirt with authority (Apple Blossom Handicap-G1), so the surface would be fair to both. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the “Horse of the Year” title settled this way? The buzz for this matchup's horse racing odds would be deafening, and the sport could certainly use a shot in the arm. Here’s hoping...

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?




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