09/21/2008 11:00PM

Zito iffy about Commentator going in BC Classic


Trainer Nick Zito said he would wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to run Commentator in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

But the vibe Zito was giving off Monday seemed to indicate that Commentator - who won Saturday's $500,000 Massa-chusetts Handicap by a stakes-record 14 lengths - may not be seen again until next year.

Zito is not a fan of synthetic surfaces such as the one the Classic will be run over for the first time. With Commentator being a 7-year-old gelding, the Classic offers no residual value for the horse other than, of course, a hefty payday and a shot at being Horse of the Year.

"I'd like to have the Breeders' Cup at Belmont, that's what I'd like to do. Is there any way I can change it?" Zito said from Saratoga on Monday.

Zito said he has not had much success on synthetic surfaces, even noting that Commentator got hurt working over Keeneland's synthetic surface before the 2006 BC Classic, which was held on dirt at Churchill Downs.

"I'm not saying he wouldn't have got hurt on the dirt," Zito said. "I don't know if he likes it, doesn't like it. Obviously, he worked fast on it. It's an uncertainty."

Zito also said the five weeks between the Massachusetts Handicap - for which Commentator earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 110 - and the Classic may not be enough time for Commentator. This year, Commentator's races have been spaced out anywhere from 43 days to 79 days.

Zito said that if he decides against running in the Classic, then it is likely Commentator would not run again until the winter. Unless, Zito said, the New York Racing Association would like to put up a race for Commentator like Monmouth Park put up for Big Brown.

"We'd be more than happy to have a Commentator Day [on] Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont Park," Zito said. "Commentator is a New York-bred just like Gov. Paterson."