Bad ankles cloud Toccet's Derby picture

January 22, 2003|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Toccet, one of the top two contenders for the Triple Crown series, has been sidelined with ankle problems and may miss the Kentucky Derby.

Daniel Borislow, who owns the Laurel-based colt, said last night that Toccet has "remodeling of the ankle" in three ankles. He said that was "kind of like a bad bruise or a minor shin splint."

Toccet, a finalist for the Eclipse Award as top 2-year-old, was supposed to be flown Monday from his Laurel Park stall to South Florida, where he was to have raced Feb. 15 in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Instead, Toccet, now 3, was flown Monday to the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky.

Borislow, who lives in South Florida, and John Scanlan, who trains Toccet at Laurel, said they didn't know when Toccet might be able to race again.

"He's sore," Scanlan said. "He needs some time."

Borislow said chances of making the Preakness or Belmont were greater than making the Derby. Based on his 2-year-old season of six wins in eight races, Toccet was the East's top Derby prospect. The Bob Baffert-trained Vindication is the leading contender in California.

Toccet showed signs of soreness after he returned from California and his hard-fought victory Dec. 21 in the Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park. Borislow ran Toccet in that race in hopes of earning an Eclipse for his homebred colt.

"I took a gamble running him out there on that hard track," Borislow said. "It was a bad decision. I compromised his chances of running in the Derby. At the same time, he did prove he's the best 2-year-old there is."

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