08/18/2010 5:35PM

Betting Against


I like Chris Clement. I don't have any kind of real relationship with the trainer of Gio Ponti, but I have had a few conversations with him over the years, and when I have, I've enjoyed them. I know some people say he can be a little cranky, but I think he just doesn't like being asked dumb questions.

Anyway, I say this because at the risk of offending Chris, which I don't want to do, I must admit, I can't wait to bet against Gio Ponti in Saturday's Arlington Million. I know, Gio Ponti doesn't give a hoot. After all, he has two Eclipse Awards and over $4.1 million in earnings in the bank. And I know I am really tempting the racing gods by taking a stand like this. But Gio Ponti had a five race losing streak going into the Man o' War last time out, and even though he overcame an absurdly slow pace to win that race, for reasons that I'll get into in my Weekend Warrior column which I will file tomorrow (Thursday), the Man o' War has the look to me of a major negative key race.

I'd also like to thank management at Arlington for grouping the three other graded stakes they have on the Million undercard into a Pick 4 sequence. Even if Paddy O'Prado wins the Secretariat at the even money he is on the morning line, if you have the right horse to beat Gio Ponti at 7-5 on the morning line, and with a totally wide open Beverly D., you will still get paid.

Yes, Saturday has the potential to be a bloodbath. So what. No one likes a coward, and it wouldn't be my first.