09/18/2002 11:00PM

Golan likely to pass on Arc

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Golan appears likely to skip the Oct. 6 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in favor of the Breeders' Cup Turf.

His trainer, Michael Stoute, said on Thursday that plans for Golan, winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, were "up in the air." Golan, a Spectrum 4-year-old, races in the colors of the executors of the the late Gerald Leigh, but a major share in him is held by Coolmore Farm, to which he will retired next year. The Japan Cup has always been the ultimate objective for Golan, and Coolmore wants to avoid an Arc duel between him and its ace 3-year-old, High Chaparral.

But High Chaparral himself is not certain for the Arc. The winner of both the Epsom and Irish derbies, he was not supplemented to Sunday's Prix du Prince d'Orange at Longchamp, the race he was expected to use as his Arc prep after having missed last Sunday's Prix Niel because of a bad blood count.

If High Chaparral does not run in the Arc, Golan probably would. Meanwhile, another Stoute trainee, the Yorkshire Oaks winner Islington, will probably skip the Arc in favor of the 1 1/4-mile Prix de l'Opera, which could serve as her prep for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

German Derby winner Next Desert has been declared out of the Arc by trainer Andreas Schutz because of a fetlock problem.