As one last-gasp effort to legalize slot machines in Maryland this year failed because of political warfare, horsemen and breeders in the state have begun what many said was inevitable as long as slots remained forbidden: the exodus of horses, horsemen, and horse farms.
Toccet's owner Dan Borislow, who sent a letter to the Santa Anita stewards, claiming his colt's weight assignment was incorrect, won his protest when the stewards decided to lower the horse's weight from 123 to 117.
John Scanlan says Toccet is at his best for Saturday's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita at 1 1/8 miles. If the trainer has any reservations as to how the well-traveled 3-year-old will fare, it's because the son of Awesome Again is making his debut against his elders.
Defending Goodwood Handicap (gr. II) champion Pleasantly Perfect, who hasn't raced since March 1 when he was fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), "is coming up to Saturday's Goodwood very good and I expect him to run as good as he can run," trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday at Santa Anita.
Anywhere trainer John Scanlan hangs his tack has been home for the past 18 months. That's when he began training Toccet, a much-traveled 3-year-old son of Awesome Again who is scheduled to make his debut at Santa Anita in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles on Oct. 5.
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.
Catherine Wills & Peter Karches' Dynever drew post position seven in a field of ten and was installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite for Monday's running of the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) at Philadelphia Park.
Although the margin was only three-quarters of a length, Dan Borislow's Toccet was in complete command through the stretch as he returned from an eight-month layoff to win the 1 1/16-mile Widener Stakes at Philadelphia Park Tuesday, a race written specifically for him.
Dan Borislow's Toccet, with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe among his targets, had his first turf work Thursday, breezing 6 furlongs in 1:19 at Pimlico. Trainer John Scanlan had to move the work from his Laurel Park base because the turf course was closed for workouts.
Toccet, the promising 3-year old who fell off the Visa Triple Crown trail with a right leg injury in February, worked on the grass at Pimlico Race Course, covering six furlongs in 1:19. Trainer John Scanlan had to move the work from his Laurel Park base because the turf course was closed for workouts.
While leading Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Funny Cide, Empire Maker and Dynever are getting most of the attention these days, it wasn't long ago that Sky Mesa, Vindication and Toccet were the darlings of the current 3-year-old class.
South Florida is a 3-year-old mecca because of Gulfstream's Florida Derby Series, which starts on Jan. 18, with the running of the $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III). The series continues Feb. 15 with the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I), and comes to a fitting climax March 15 with the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I).
A pair of highly promising 2-year-olds, multiple stakes winner Toccet from the East and locally-based Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Kafwain, are set to clash in Saturday's Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. A field of 11 fillies and mares also entered Saturday's Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT).
A forecast of rain Friday and an off track Saturday brought rain-dance whoops from Maryland to California in the barns of John Scanlan and Rafael Becerra, trainers of Toccet and Roll Hennessy Roll, respectively, as they await Saturday's $375,000-estimated Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 mile.
Multiple stakes winner Toccet will be flown from Maryland to California Thursday for the $385,000-estimated Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) for 2-year-olds Saturday, trainer John Scanlan confirmed Sunday from his base at Laurel.
No one can accuse Toccet's owner Daniel Borislow of not going down without a fight. With each decisive victory by the son of Awesome Again, Borislow has become more frustrated by his colt's defeat in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), in which he virtually lost all chance after breaking from the 13 post.
By his own admission, trainer John Scanlan is a bad loser -- a man who curses and throw things in defeat. So when he heard Wednesday that Toccet had drawn the far outside post the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Scanlan's first reaction was to leave the post position draw breakfast at Arlington Park.
Pleasant Divorce, Halo's Stride, and Two Point Two Mill were all on the Gulfstream Park track prepping for Sunday's $100,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT), covering 1 3/8 miles over the turf course.
Daniel M. Borislow's Talk Is Money was tested all the way to the finish line by Marciano but prevailed in an all-out drive to win the $50,000 Miracle Wood Stakes, Saturday's co-feature at Laurel Park. In successfully negotiatiing two turns for the first time, the $1.8 million yearling purchase remained undefeated in two career starts.