- A national conference call of Breeders’ Cup trainers Wednesday featured the likes of Todd Pletcher, Aidan O’Brien, and Richard Mandella, but according to SF Gate, it was Lost in the Fog’s trainer Greg Gilchrist who got the most attention. And they’re STILL asking him why the horse didn’t run in the Derby!
"I never did feel a lot of pressure (to run in the Kentucky Derby) because we were going to do what we were going to do anyway. I don't think the horse would have been prepared properly to run 11/4 miles the first week in May, and the way the race came up, he certainly wasn't going to lie back 15th or 16th. He would have been up there with everybody else, and it would have been suicide. We chose the right trail, and it's worked out."Why are we still having this conversation anyway? Forget about a mile and a quarter, I think if the Sprint was seven furlongs, even his supporters may be having some doubts. Gilchrist spoke about the fact that his unbeaten colt can sit behind a horse or two early, but he said “If he draws way to the inside (post position), we're going to send.” Today, Lost in the Fog had a nice, easy work, just want Gilchrist wanted.
With regular rider Russell Baze aboard, Lost in the Fog glided through his work, going the opening furlong in :12 1/5, the first quarter of a mile in :24, three furlongs in :36, and four furlongs in :48 1/5. [Bloodhorse]- The Europeans are coming – 22 of them in all, the largest contingent since 26 came to Churchill in 1994 (a very good year) – and England’s Sport.Telegraph.com notes that we are represented in all races with the exception of the Sprint and the Distaff.
Last year, Europe sent 12 horses to Lone Star Park, Texas, just two of which were British-trained. However, both Wilko and Ouija Board won. That strike-rate combined with the shorter distance between here and New York; the climate; Belmont's large sweeping bends by American standards and memories of Royal Academy winning there in 1990 for Lester Piggott have accounted for this year's rise in interest.One of the foreign invaders will be Australian champion Starcraft, and you gotta love the sporting nature of his owner Paul Makin. His horse is a proven commodity as a turf miler, having defeated Dubawi and Rakti in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Newmarket, but this guy is putting up $800,000 to run in the Classic, even though he’s never run on the dirt. Go baby go!
"If you didn't try it with him," said trainer Luca Cuani, relishing the challenge yesterday, "a big, mature, strong, streetwise horse, you wouldn't try with anything. If he doesn't," he added joking, "well, we'll just say he didn't act on dirt."He’s quoted at Ladbrokes at 7-1, which seems kind of paltry for what is really just a guess. I can't imagine he'll be that low here on post time. On Tuesday, he had an impressive first hit-out on an all-weather dirt surface, and according to Australia’s Herald Sun, he crush[ed] three stable companions with ridiculous ease over seven furlongs on the fibre-sand circuit. Cumani said "I would have liked more kick-back from the surface but unfortunately he is so much bigger than the rest of them that the sand wasn't reaching him….We won't know how he will really handle it until the day of the race.”
Starcraft is by Northern Dancer-line sire Soviet Star, out of a mare by Pompeii Court, who is by Tell (Round Table). Tell was the sire of Told, a stakes winner on the grass in New York that I seem to remember cashing a ticket or two on a couple of decades or so ago.
- Rock Hard Ten had a reportedly spectacular public workout before the first at Santa Anita today, getting seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 under no urging in the slightest according to Bloodhorse. His jockey Gary Stevens observed the move, and told TVG
"He gives me goose bumps on the back of my neck when I ride him. After he completed the work, I turned to (jockey) James Graham and said, 'Look at the back of my neck, and I had goose bumps.” [Bloodhorse]I’d like to confirm with James Graham if Stevens really did have those goose bumps, as that could influence my betting decision. Trainer Richard Mandella has his eye on Borrego, telling the Sun-Sentinal, "He's a horse everyone should be afraid of."