07/18/2006 11:00PM

Touch of Land repeats at Vichy


Touch of Land will head to Chicago for a third try in the Arlington Million after successfully defending his Group 3, $100,000 Grand Prix de Vichy title on Wednesday night.

Running for the first time since having finished eighth in the Dubai Duty Free on March 25, Touch of Land, a 6-year-old trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, tracked a slow pace in third before taking the lead at the three-sixteenths pole to defeat Ruwi by 1 1/2 lengths. Ridden by Olivier Peslier, he recorded a winning time of 2:10.19 for the 1 1/4-mile contest on good to soft ground as the 2.90-1 second choice behind Ruwi.

Fifth in last year's Arlington Million, the Gary Tanaka-owned Touch of Land could, said the International Racing Bureau, be joined in the lineup for the 1 1/4-mile Million by last year's Breeders' Cup Turf runner-up, Ace; the 2004 Canadian International winner, Phoenix Reach; and German 10-furlong specialist Soldier Hollow. Archange d'Or, however, who was being considered for the race by Andre Fabre, may be routed elsewhere as he trailed home last of six at Vichy, 5 1/4 lengths behind Touch of Land.