on 01/18/2011 4:35 AM

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GIO PONTI (h. 6, Tale of the Cat - Chipeta Springs by Alydar) has been named the 2010 Champion Male Turf Horse.  Winning this, his 3rd consecutive Eclipse Award, GIO PONTI has become only the third horse in the modern era to win back-to-back Eclipse Awards as the nation's champion turf male. 

His 2010 season was another model of class, consistency, and elite performance.  The year was highlighted with a gutsy win overcoming bad traffic in the G1 Man o' War at Belmont and an impressive victory at Keeneland when he romped in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile.

Mr. Shane Ryan, President of Castleton Lyons, accepted the award last night at the ceremony in Miami Beach, FL.  "It is a special thrill for me, as GIO PONTI was raised at Castleton Lyons- our farm in Lexington- so our connection with GIO PONTI has been there since day one," Ryan said.  "All of the farm's employees feel so close to this horse having foaled and reared him, and we all look forward to the day that he returns home to join our stallion roster.  The Eclipse Awards are the ultimate accolade to receive in our industry, and with GIO PONTI having won two already we feel very honored and grateful that his exploits have been rewarded and recognized by the voters."    

GIO PONTI's jockey, Ramon Dominguez, was also awarded with an Eclipse Award for Champion Jockey, which was the first for the native of Venezuela.

It was announced in December that GIO PONTI would remain in training in 2011 with sights set on the 2011 Dubai World Cup.  Congratulations to trainer Christophe Clement and his team, jockey Ramon Dominguez, and all of his connections for another Championship season.  We all look forward to what 2011 will bring for "GIO"! 

photo courtesy of Coady Photography
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