11/21/2003 12:00AM

Toccet right at home for Cigar Mile


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Toccet will return to Aqueduct for the first time since winning the Grade 2 Remsen a year ago when he runs in Saturday's Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap.

On Friday, trainer John Scanlan and owner Daniel Borislow decided to run in the $350,000 Cigar Mile, rather than the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs one day earlier. Another race that was considered was the $600,000 Hollywood Derby on the grass, the day after the Cigar Mile.

Scanlan said Toccet's 2 1/4-length win in last year's Remsen played into the decision to run in New York.

"He's never been beaten at Aqueduct and likes the [cold] weather," Scanlan said. "He shouldn't be carrying too much weight based on his last few races."

After returning from a nine-month layoff and winning an overnight stakes at Philadelphia Park on Aug. 19, Toccet has lost his last four starts. After finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, Toccet finished a narrowly beaten second as the favorite in the Hail Emperor on the dirt at Laurel Park on Nov. 15. He earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106 for the effort.

"That was his first good effort since he has come back," Scanlan said. "He's doing super - he's ready to explode. He's the same [horse] he was as a 2-year-old."

Scanlan said he would like to secure Ryan Fogelsonger to ride Toccet if the colt gets a low weight assignment. Weights are due out Sunday.

Dutrow keeping it real

Richard Dutrow Jr. has realistic expectations regarding the Cigar Mile.

Dutrow trains Well Fancied, a New York-bred who enters the Cigar Mile in the best form of his life. The 5-year-old has won his last four starts, including three restricted stakes. In each of his last six starts, Well Fancied has earned a Beyer Figure of 100 or better.

Despite all the positives, Dutrow has some reservations about Well Fancied's chances in the Cigar Mile because of the presence of the defending champion, Congaree.

"I'm very much concerned about running against Congaree on this track," Dutrow said. "We can't beat him - he's a much better horse than us. But if the track came up a little wet, that could be a little advantage for us. You never know, crazier things have happened. We're not expecting to beat Congaree, but we are hoping to."

Dutrow said the Cigar Mile is a logical spot for Well Fancied because he doesn't intend to run him on the inner track, which is scheduled to open Dec. 3.

"We don't have anything to lose by running, because this is our last chance in a reasonable spot," Dutrow said. "We are very happy with the way our horse is coming up to this race."

Edgar Prado will ride Well Fancied.

In addition to Toccet, Congaree, and Well Fancied, the other expected Cigar Mile starters are Bowman's Band, Midas Eyes, New York Hero, Presidentialaffair, and Voodoo. Peeping Tom and Sam Lord's Castle are under consideration.

New import for Minikes

Owner Peter Minikes, who purchased Buy the Sport in Europe and then brought the filly here to win the Grade 1 Gazelle at Belmont in September, has acquired another European runner, Master David.

Minikes, who races under the name Georgica Stable, bought Master David about a month ago. The 2-year-old will arrive in New York on Tuesday to run in Saturday's $200,000 Remsen.

Brian Meehan trains Master David, who won a maiden race on the grass in his third start in England on Sept. 16. Meehan trained Buy the Sport in Europe and was listed as the trainer when the New York-bred won the Gazelle. After the Gazelle, Minikes gave Buy the Sport to Bobby Barbara to train.

Barbara said no decision would be made until after the Remsen on whether Master David will remain in New York with him or return to England with Meehan.

Jose Santos has the mount on Master David.

Other horses pointing to the Grade 2 Remsen are Artie Schiller, El Prado Rob, Milestone Victory, Mustanfar, Pa Pa Da, Read the Footnotes, and West Virginia.

Samyn on his feet

Jockey Jean-Luc Samyn, who broke his leg in a spill this summer at Saratoga, hopes to be galloping horses in the next few weeks.

Samyn, 47, broke his right thighbone when his mount clipped heels in a race on Aug. 20. Two days later, Samyn underwent surgery to place a plate and 14 screws - seven in the knee and seven in the thigh - to repair the fracture.

Earlier this month, Samyn was able to shed the crutches and the cane he had been using since his operation.

"I still have more work to do, but I'm walking normal now," Samyn said. "I will be reevaluated in a couple of weeks and might be able to start running by Dec. 1 and then slowly start getting on some horses."