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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gio Ponti gets in breeze

Steve Andersen,
Daily Racing Form

ARCADIA, Calif. - Gio Ponti, the runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Classic in November, breezed three furlongs in 36.60 seconds at Santa Anita on Saturday, his first workout since the BC Classic.

Trainer Christophe Clement said he is considering the San Antonio Handicap or two races at Gulfstream Park - the $500,000 Donn Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on dirt on Feb. 6 or the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes over a mile on Feb. 20. The Dubai World Cup is a long-term goal.

"Everything is still up in the air," Clement said. "I will be in California in two weeks, and I will make a decision then.

"He came out of the work in good order," Clement said.

Owned by Castleton Lyons, Gio Ponti is a candidate for outstanding older male and outstanding turf male titles of 2009. A 5-year-old, he has won 9 of 16 starts and $3,153,800.

Life Is Sweet back on track

Life Is Sweet, scratched from Saturday's Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap on the morning of the race after a bout with stomach cramps, resumed training on Sunday at Hollywood Park and will be pointed for the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap on Feb. 13, trainer John Shirreffs said.

"She was good [Sunday], went out and galloped out and did fine," Shirreffs said.

Shirreffs said that Life is Sweet did not need any medication after tying up following an early-morning gallop Saturday.

"It was pretty minor but it was significant enough that I didn't want to run her that afternoon," he said. "It's one of those bad timing things."

Owned by Marty and Pam Wygod, Life Is Sweet won the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic here in November in her most recent start. She has won four graded stakes on Santa Anita's synthetic main track in the last year.

Cat by the Tale, who won the first stakes of her career in the San Gorgonio, may not start again until the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap on March 21, trainer Neil Drysdale said. The Grade 2 Santa Ana is run over the same 1 1/8 miles on turf as the San Gorgonio.

Cat by the Tale was third in the Las Palmas and Bayakoa handicaps in the fall.

"She ran a much-improved race," Drysdale said of Cat by the Tale's performance in the San Gorgonio.

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