Owner Dan Borilsow said Thursday he is making arrangements to send Toccet to France for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Oct. 5.
Toccet, who has not run since his victory in last December's Hollywood Futurity, will make his long-awaited return in a small stakes to be written for him at Philadelphia Park on Aug. 19, which will be used as a prep for the $500,000 Pennsyvania Derby on Sept. 1. Immediately following that race, Toccet will be shipped to France, where he'll prep for the Arc in either the 1 1/2-mile Prix Niel on Sept. 14 or the 1 1/4-mile Prince du Prince d'Orange. If the son of Awesome Again comes out of the Arc in good shape, he'll return to the U.S. and point for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Toccet is scheduled to work tomorrow, then have his first turf work next Thursday. If the colt demonstrates a liking for the grass, Borislow and trainer John Scanlan will proceed with their plans.
"He's probably bred better for the turf than the dirt," Borislow said. "His pedigree has a good deal of European influences, especially at classic distances. We just have to see if he runs to his breeding, and if he's as good as I think he is. I did a lot of research before making this decision, and spoke to Patrick Biancone (who finished first in three consecutive Arcs with All Along and Sagace, with Sagace being disqualified in 1985). And I'll be doing more research. I think a lot of people will be excited about an American horse going to France. This would be a great time for an American to go over there and win Europe's premier race.
"I'm hoping the French Jockey Club will help accommodate us, with shipping costs and letting us work over the Longchamp course, which they've done in the past. The horse has always been a great shipper, so I have no concerns about that."
Several American horses have run in the Arc, such as C.V. Whitney's pair of Fisherman and Career Boy, who ran into the legendary Ribot in 1956. Career Boy, however, did manage to finish a respectable fourth to the great Italian champion. Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Carry Back went over in 1962, and although he finished 10th, he was beaten only 5 3/4 lengths. Raymond Guest sent Preakness winner Tom Rolfe in 1965, but the little colt got hung very wide turning for home and finished a well-beaten sixth behind the great Sea-Bird. Ogden Phipps' Intrepid Hero also made the trip, but faded after being in contention in the upper stretch. There have been others, but none have made any impact on the race.