Thoroughbred foals carry a beauty all their own. Sure, they don't have the muscle and grace of their elders, but the promise of what they could be shines through, even in a photograph.
With foaling season in full-swing, Castleton Lyons shares with us a few of the promising 2013 foals from seven-time Grade 1 winner, Gio Ponti.
Stuart Fitzgibbon, commercial manager for the farm, says of Gio Ponti:
Brilliantly consistent, consistently brilliant is a phrase that best describes the achievements of Gio Ponti on the racetrack. A stakes winner at Keeneland as a two-year-old, he developed into one of the classiest performers race goers have seen in the last few years. A brilliant G1 skein in 2009 included victories in the Frank Kilroe Mile, Manhattan Handicap, Man O'War and Arlington Million over distances ranging from 8 to 11 furlongs. Gio Ponti rounded off that year with an excellent second to the great Zenyatta in the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita and received two Eclipse Awards as Champion Older Male and Champion Turf Horse.
The following year he repeated his earlier victory in the G1 Man O'War, picked up the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland and once again received an Eclipse Award for Champion Turf horse. Gio Ponti rounded off his career as a 5-year-old showing a great turn of foot with another victory in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland defeating Get Stormy, Sidney's Candy and future Horse of the Year Wise Dan.
He showed tremendous soundness and class throughout a long and fruitful career with three Eclipse Awards and seven G1's over 29 lifetime starts in which he was 22 times first or second garnering over US$6million in prize money. Amazingly Gio Ponti competed in 19 G1 races with a record of 14 times first or second.
At stud, Gio Ponti bred a high class first book in 2012 producing some exceptional foals that have captured the attention of breeders nationwide. These foals are the fruit from a stellar crop of mares that included 38 graded and stakes producing dams, 28 graded or stakes winning mares highlighted by the dam of 2012 Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another and leading 2013 Derby prospect Vyjack. Gio Ponti is a very good looking, athletic stallion standing 16. 1 ½ hands in height with great balance, shoulder, and action.
Presenting foals from Gio Ponti's class of 2013:
Dam: Aliyah (Maria's Mon)
Breeder: Shim Racing
Born: Foxtale Farm
Hails from the family of To Honor and Serve
Dam: Expressive Diva
Breeder: PTS Ranch
Born: Whispering Oaks
Out of a half-sister to a Grade 1 winner
Dam: South Bay Cove
Breeder: Helen Andrew
Born: Dapple Stud
Half-sister to Irish 2000 Guineas runner-up
Dam: Shandra Smiles
Breeder: Dr. Rodney Orr
Born: Glen Oak Farm
Three-quarters sister to Grade 1 winner Smiling Tiger
The farm now known as Castleton Lyons possesses a rich and distinguished equine history stretching back over two hundred years and encompassing racing greats from the ranks of thoroughbreds, saddlebreds, and trotters.
Returned to its original Thoroughbred roots following its purchase by Dr Tony Ryan in late 2001, Castleton Lyons underwent a major renovation to restore it to its rightful place as one of Kentucky's great horse farms.
Castleton Lyons has entered a new era – dedicated to the provision of top class boarding facilities and a top class stallion roster.
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