08/31/2004 12:00AM

Hard Buck to pass on Arc trip

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A pair of Brazilian-bred, American-based Grade 1 winners, Hard Buck and Pico Central, both sons of Spend a Buck, could be spending some time in Asia this fall.

Trainer Kenny McPeek said Tuesday that Hard Buck, winner of the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap and runner-up in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, would not be traveling to Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 3. Instead he will use the Canadian International at Woodbine on Oct. 24 as a possible jumping off point for the Nov. 18 Japan Cup and/or the Dec. 12 Hong Kong Cup.

Meanwhile, Pico Central has been invited by the Japan Racing Association to represent the United States in the $1.6 million Sprinters Stakes, a six-furlong Grade 1 turf event at Nakayama on Oct. 3. Trained by Paulo Lobo, Pico Central has won the Carter Handicap and the Metropolitan Handicap.