09/08/2008 11:00PM

Meisho Samson to skip Arc prep


Japan's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hopeful, Meisho Samson, will bypass this Sunday's Arc prep for older horses, the Prix Foy, and instead head straight to the Oct. 5 Arc off an improbable 14-week layoff.

Meisho Samson, the 2006 Japanese Derby winner and a neck second to Eishin Deputy in this year's Takarazuka Kinen on June 29, will instead have a workout at Longchamp shortly before the big race. The Japan Racing Association's Paris representative told the Racing Post on Tuesday that the time between the Foy and the Arc - three weeks - was too short. Meisho Samson has generally run with at least four weeks rest between races throughout most of his career.

The horses to watch on Longchamp's traditional Arc prep day Sunday are the French Oaks winner Zarkava, who is an undefeated filly who will face older females for the first time in the Prix Vermeille, and the French Derby winner Vision d'Etat, who runs in the Prix Niel. Both will be fresh from three-month summer vacations since their classic victories.