Ponteau much the best in G2 Gran Premio Criadores Eugenio Zegers Leon

Juvenile Midshipman colt wires the field in his Stakes debut

Ponteau took the lead a few strides out of the starting gate and never looked back on his way to splashing to a two-and-a-quarter length victory in the G2 Gran Premio Criadores Eugenio Zegers Leon at Hipodromo Chile on Saturday, 25 May.

The two-year-old son of Midshipman, who was making his Stakes debut, improved his record to two wins and two seconds in just four career starts.

A field of six juveniles went to the post in the Eugenio Zegers Leon, which was contested at a mile over a muddy main track. Stumbling a bit coming out of the starting gate, Ponteau was hustled immediately to the lead from his rail post by his rider. He was soon joined by Alazan Lucero, and the pair battled for a few strides until Ponteau shook free and began to open a clear lead.

Ponteau continued to lead by about three lengths heading into the far turn, and appeared poised to go on with his business as the field entered the home straight. The dark bay colt then appeared to get a bit leg-weary in the final furlong, as Toruk Makto, who had shot through an opening along the inside rail, suddenly loomed a threat, pulling to within a half-length of the longtime leader. Ponteau then got back to business, quickly shaking off his challenger and spurting away late to win comfortably. Toruk Makto held second, with Daddy Rooster coming in third.

Ponteau was bred in Chile by Haras Don Alberto and races for Stud La Nonna. He is out of the winning Stormin Fever mare, Pellerossa, and a half-brother to Graded Stakes-placed Tonlemino (Constitution). 

Midshipman has the distinction of being the only stallion with multiple juvenile Stakes winners at Saratoga in 2023 – two-time Stakes winner, Amidst Waves, and Ship Cadet, winner of the Listed Skidmore College Stakes. 

Midshipman is standing the 2024 breeding season at Jonabell Farm for $15,000, stands and nurses.