Gio Ponti worked on the grass Sunday at Belmont Park, but trainer
Christophe Clement said that no final decision had been on whether
North America’s reigning turf champion will start in the $2 million
Breeders’ Cup Mile on grass or the $5 million Classic, a 1 1/4 mile
dirt race, both at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
In his first work since his impressive victory in the Shadwell Turf
Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 9, Gio Ponti went five furlongs in 1:03.58 in
company with the multiple Grade 1 winner Winchester, a Breeders’ Cup
Turf starter who went the same distance in 1:03.94.
Gio Ponti, under exercise rider Jerry Fogarty, began the work about
two lengths behind Winchester, who under Christophe Lorieul, went in
splits of 12.62 seconds and 27.10 for the first quarter. Turf workouts
were conducted around a triple set of orange traffic cones, known as
dogs, which forces the horses farther outside than they would be under
normal race conditions.