Dan Borislow, owner of Toccet, said the son of Awesome Again is scheduled to fly to Santa Anita tomorrow, where he will prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Oct. 4.
Borislow, never one to refrain from making a wager or two, not only feels that the Goodwood is the perfect spot for Toccet, he also is relying on his gambling instincts.
"I'm betting Empire Maker winds up going in the Goodwood," Borislow said, "I'm looking for him, and he's going to have to catch me on the front end."
Although Toccet finished a well-beaten fifth in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) on Sep. 1 over a very sloppy track, Borislow and trainer John Scanlan are throwing that race out and have lost no confidence in their colt. Toccet had made his first start off an eight-month layoff only 13 days earlier, winning the restricted Widener Stakes at Philadelphia Park.
Shadwell Stable's Tafaseel, who finished eighth, beaten almost 17 lengths, in the Pennsylvania Derby, came back and ran a fast-closing second in the Jerome Handicap (gr. II) last Saturday, indicating that several of the top contenders in the Pennsylvania Derby simply couldn't handle the track. Another horse to run poorly in that race was the talented Dynever, who may come back in either the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) or Super Derby (gr. II).
Toccet has run most of his races from off the pace, but he did press the pace the whole way in his Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and Remsen Stakes (gr. II) victories. In the latter, he defeated Empire Maker by 5 1/2 lengths.
Empire Maker's trainer, Bobby Frankel, said if he can get another good work in the colt next week, he'll likely point for the Gold Cup, which will give him four weeks to the Classic, instead of three weeks should he run in the Goodwood.
Only three others currently are pointing for the Goodwood: Pleasantly Perfect, who won the race last year, but hasn't run since March 1; the hard-knocking closer Grey Memo; and Southern Image, who has made only three starts in his career, winning an allowance race at Del Mar in his last off a layoff. Santa Anita officials are trying to get Sky Jack, winner of the Longacres Mile in his last start, who may run instead at Fairplex Park.
Toccet has won four graded stakes in his career, which was interrupted this winter due to a remodeling of the colt's right hind cannon bone. In addition to the Hollywood Futurity and Remsen, he captured the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and Laurel Futurity (gr. III).