06/26/2002 11:00PM

Straight Gin to be show jumper


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Straight Gin, who bowed a tendon in his right foreleg while finishing ninth in the Preakness Stakes, is preparing for a career as a show jumper. Owner Marylou Whitney gave the 3-year-old Go for Gin colt to Kim Zito, the wife of Straight Gin's trainer, Nick Zito.

"He's in Kentucky now with my trainer, Mickey Welker," Kim Zito said Thursday from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. "He's got the ideal body to be a hunter-jumper. He's pretty and tall, with a long, beautiful neck and a long, sloping shoulder. And he has an ideal disposition."

Zito said that she will geld Straight Gin. The colt's recuperation from the bowed tendon could take as long as a year to heal.