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.

marcus hersh More than 1 year ago
And what if you could beat both Gio Ponti and Paddy O'Prado? The Pick 4 would fatten several times over again. Curious to know how you would deal with an epically mediocre edition of the Stars and Stripes, which starts the sequence.
Allan More than 1 year ago
Gio Ponti is a free space. He will not lose. Trying to beat him is a little like some of my euro buddies trying to beat Rip Van Winkle in the Juddmonte International on Tuesday. some races you just tip your hat to the chalk. can't see anybody entered in the Million who scares me. the euros (3 raters at very best) it will be close but Gio will win.
davec More than 1 year ago
Not with this group Mike. He likes Arlington and of his 5 race losing streak he had some bad luck and, of course, faced some of the game's best.
John Lockhart Jr More than 1 year ago
I will admit i have not looked at the past performances of the Million yet but i think you are being a little too critical of gio ponti and his loosing streak he went through. The first loss was a mile and a half on bottomless ground, the second was a great effort against Zenyatta in the Classic, the race at tampa was just a tune up and he caught an in form Karelian, who was really becoming a top middle distance turf horse before his injury. The World Cup was not a bad race in which the lack of pace really comprimised him and he ran into all kinds of trouble in the stretch of the Manhattan. It looks bad that it was 5 straight loosing efforts but i think legitimate excuses for each lose. The Man O War was run very slow and the Sword Dancer did not flatter it but Ramon was not exactly all out on gio ponti despite coming from last on that slow of pace. Dont know bout the euros that are coming over but don count the champ out yet. Then again, cant argue with anybody trying to beat a heavy favorite. Good luck to you!
betweenhed More than 1 year ago
what do you think the chances are of the imports expecially wigmore hall and tazeez of upsetting their respective races i feel if youare looking for value the best horse on the card will be Ave attfield has been on a roll with is canadian shippers good luck and i hope we cash big
David H. More than 1 year ago
I'd like to second what Mr. Watchmaker said about thanking the ARL folks for carding the $1 mid-card Pick 4 encompassing races 7 through 10. It's a very, VERY difficult P4 sequence at first blush. For those of us who enjoy "advanced handicapping" of the stakes variety, it's enormously fun (albeit expensive).