It was my privledge to paint the two time Eclipse Award winner at the Fasig Tipton sale at Palm Meadows on March 3rd. Fasig Tipton utilized the training facility for their Florida sale for the first time after several years at Calder Race Course in Miami (with the an exception being the year they held it at Ocala a few years ago). Palm Meadows and Fasig Tipton worked together to put on a great presentation for the horses and pleasant environment for the people.
Gio Ponti came out of this sale three years ago and since then has gone on to win two Eclipse Awards. As his owner Shane Ryan of Castleton Lyons said when accepting the second Eclipse Award at the Fountainblue in Miami Beach, “We lost to Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup and won an Eclipse Award, then we got beat by Goldikova in the Breeders’ Cup and won a second Eclipe Award; two of the best fillies on the race track . . . all we have to do is figure out who the best filly is next year and lose to her in the Breeders’ Cup.” – - You just have to admire a great since of humor while paying a compliment to all three of these champions. And yes, Gio Ponti is still in training. His trainer, Christophe Clement, came by during the sale and commented that he had just left Gio Ponti at the training barn and it looks like he followed him over to the sale becuase it looks just like him.
Thanks go out to Jeff Coady, the track photographer at Keeneland and Oaklawn for the wonderful source photo for this painting.