10/06/2010 5:38PM

Gio Ponti's spot still under consideration


A second-place finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic brought Gio Ponti a second Eclipse Award, as champion older horse, to go along with the turf title he had wrapped up with his stellar campaign earlier in the year.

The Classic is at the ideal distance for Gio Ponti, 1 1/4 miles. The surface, though, is a wild card, being as Gio Ponti has yet to race on dirt in a career that, to this point, has numbered 21 races. But there is still the possibility he could run in this year’s Classic on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs, trainer Christophe Clement said Wednesday. The other option is the BC Mile, at one mile on turf, conditions Gio Ponti will encounter on Saturday in the Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

“He is being kept eligible to the Mile and the Classic at the moment. There is no preference at the moment,” Clement said from New York. “Let’s see how he does in the Shadwell Mile. I would have loved to run in New York, but unfortunately the Kelso has been moved to the dirt. That would have been great. I would have preferred not to ship.”

Gio Ponti has 1 win and 5 second-place finishes in his last 7 starts.

Gio Ponti, 5, has had a star-crossed career in the Breeders’ Cup. He had a nightmarish trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Monmouth, then last year had the lead in the Classic in the shadow of the wire before Zenyatta roared past him.