04/22/2010 11:00PM

Gio Ponti on target for Manhattan


Dual Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti has recently resumed galloping at Payson Park in south Florida and remains on target for the Grade 1 Manhattan at Belmont Park on June 5, trainer Christophe Clement said. The Manhattan was one of four Grade 1 races Gio Ponti won in 2009.

Gio Ponti finished fourth in the Dubai World Cup, and after doing a couple of days in quarantine in New York, he shipped to Clement's stable in Payson Park.

Clement said Gio Ponti jogged for three weeks but has begun galloping the last few days. He will ship to Belmont next weekend.

"He'll resume breezing the first week of May,'' Clement said. "He's doing great. He put all the weight back that he lost. I'm delighted with the way he's come back.''

Gio Ponti was voted the Eclipse Award for champion turf horse and champion older horse of 2009.

Gio Ponti heads the list of horses Clement will be shipping back to New York. Others include Miss World and Denomination, who are being pointed to the Beaugay, and Sal the Barber and Operation Red Dawn, who are both under consideration for the Fort Marcy. Both Grade 3 turf stakes are scheduled for May 1.