Court Vision was scratched out of last Friday’s Poker Stakes at Belmont Park on the same day nominations for this Saturday’s $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup were released.  It certainly looks like the 2008 runner up in the Virginia Derby to Gio Ponti is coming back to Colonial.

Three years ago Court Vision and Gio Ponti ran in tandem up the backstretch and around the turn in the Virginia Derby behind Baltimore Bob and Old Man Buck on the lead.  Garrett Gomez had Gio Ponti on the outside,  while Court Vision with Robby Albarado aboard had a hard time finding running room down on the rail. 

For a brief moment at the top of the stretch, Albarado considered shooting through a gap that developed between the fading frontrunners.  He didn’t take it.  Gomez got the jump on him on the outside and darted to the wire.  Albarado went right of Baltimore Bob following Gomez’s path and conceding a half length at the 3/16ths pole.  But by the eighth pole he had nearly drawn even on the inside.  Gio Ponti prevailed by a shinny nose in the duel to the wire but had a considerable better route in the stretch. 

Since the 2008 Virginia Derby, Court Vision has won four Grade I stakes, all on the turf-the last one being the Woodbine Mile last September.  Gio Ponti who ran on the soft turf at Belmont last weekend, a condition that he certainly doesn’t prefer, and finished third in the Mahattan at Belmont Park.  His trainer Christophe Clement, and well as most of us, probably wishes he would have come here.


“A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character.”- Federico Tesio 

The first time I saw Genuine Risk, she was 28.  She had just been bathed and groomed for story I was preparing for the Bloodhorse on the 25th anniversary of her incredible Kentucky Derby win (1980).  After I took some pictures of her in the Newstead Farm courtyard in Upperville, VA she entered the paddock , dropped to the ground, rolled completely over to one side and then back, completing the maneuver in mere seconds.  I would have liked to see her when she was three.   She was the first filly to win the Derby in several generations.  In the Preakness jockey Jacinto  Vasquez claimed foul for being ridden wide by the winner Codex, with the final ruling disallowed days after the race.  In the breeding shed, she was sent to Secretariat twice without success in what would have conceived a foal by two Kentucky Derby winners for Bertram and Diana Firestone.


…is Peter Kreutzer known for his catchphrase “Get the Money” introduces new fans to racing and enhances the experience of experienced fans in the education center and various tours at Colonial Downs.  The Williamsburg resident also loves baseball and football which he played in high school in Mineola, New York.   His introduction to racing was routing for Carry Back in 1961 Kentucky Derby at age 6.


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