by Greg Melikov - 06/28/2006
The richest day in racing for sprinters will feature Eclipse Award winning Lost in the Fog at Calder Race Course on July 15.
The son of Lost Solder, victorious last year by more than seven lengths while shattering the $300,000 Carry Back Stakes record by nearly a second in 1:09 1/5, is expected to go in the $500,000 Smile Sprint handicap at six furlongs.
The dark bay colt won 10 in row as a 3-year-old in 2006 before fading to seventh after setting the pace until the stretch in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last fall. Carrying 124 pounds, he captured the $150,000 Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap by 1 ¼ lengths, covering the six furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:08 2/5.
Trainer Greg Gilchrist said only one thing could prevent Lost in the Fog from coming to South Florida: weight.
"There are other races to look at, including one at Hollywood Park, but the timing is good, six weeks from the Aristides, to come back to Calder," Gilcrest told the Daily Racing Form. "And I'm not really concerned with who else is coming. We've always thrown our hat in the ring and said, 'This is where we're going,' and it's up to the other people to decide whether they want to come or not.
"For the most part our decision will probably depend on the weights. Lost in the Fog probably deserves to pick up a pound off his last race. But I'm already spotting everybody eight or nine pounds every time he runs, so there is really only so much weight we can handle."
Lost in the Fog, working well at Golden Gate Fields, most likely would be the only returning winner from last year's card of eight stakes worth nearly $2 million. But in the Smile he'll face formidable opposition such as Mister Fortis, fourth last year behind the favored Woke Up Dreamin.
The 5-year-old is one of three runners trained by Marty Wolfson. However, Mister Fortis finished fourth behind the favored Woke Up Dreamin in the '05 Smile. The winner, who covered the six furlongs in 1:09 4/5, was retired late last year.
Mister Fortis ran ninth in the Commonwealth BC at Keeneland on April 15 after taking the Richter Scale BC on March 4 at Gulfstream Park.
The other Wolfson trainees are Chandtrue, who finished off the board this year in two overnight stakes at Calder, and Pomeroy, who hasn't run since undergoing minor surgery for a chip in his ankle after failing to hit the board in the Vosburg on Oct. 1 at Belmont Park.
The other stakes, in addition to the Smile and Carry Back, both Grade 2s, include:
The $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap at six furlongs for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, bumped up to a Grade 1, went last year to heavily favored Madcap Escapad by 5 ¼ lengths. The winner, who covered the distance in 1:09 4/5, was retired later in '05.
The $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup at six furlongs for 3-year-old fillies, a Grade 3 event, was taken in '05 by Leave Me Alone.
The $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap at five furlongs for 3-year-olds and up was won last year by Southern Cal.