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Monday, October 31, 2005

Lost in the Sprint

- Besides the fatal injury suffered in the Mile by Funfair, the biggest bummer of Breeders' Cup day was certainly the defeat of Lost in the Fog in the Sprint. I know that there are some who are rejoicing over the fact that they just knew that the horse wasn’t unbeatable, but I think that even they would have to admit that the sport would be better off if he was. Though his trainer Greg Gilchrist said that "When you're winning, you don't have to make excuses, or when you're losing, you shouldn't come up with any, either,” [Times Picayune], he came up with a couple anyway.

"I think it's possible we just pushed the button one too many times," Gilchrist said. "I think traveling got to him a little bit finally. He was nervous before the race, and he has never displayed that before. He just seemed kind of irritated."

Gilchrist first noticed a difference in Lost in the Fog in the holding barn about three hours before the race, and then the colt reared up in the saddling paddock when the trainer put on the overgirth.

"He acted like he was upset about something," Gilchrist said. "It didn't look like he was real comfortable with what was happening. When horses do things like that, they use up energy and you usually don't get a good performance."[SF Gate]
I thought it looked promising when he swept past the two pacesetters Atilla’s Storm and Battle Won while three wide on the turn, but when he couldn’t put the former away, it was obvious he wasn’t going to hang on. Russell Baze said “He gave me a little punch, but after about a dozen jumps, he had nothing left.”" [LA Times]

The winner, Silver Train, who earned a 114 Beyer for his win, has been a monster ever since moving to the barn of Richard Dutrow, Jr., and for obvious reasons, not everyone is thrilled that it was the first of two winners on the day for the trainer. Silver Train is by the late Old Trieste, the second of two stallion sons of A.P. Indy to have a BC winner this day, along with Stephen Got Even (Stevie Wonderboy). His only inbreeding is a 5x5 cross of Bold Ruler through his sons Secretariat and Cornish Prince. He’s out of a stakes placed daughter of Cormorant. Since no one has taken my advice to start a “dead stallion register,” there are no statistics available to me about Old Trieste’s foal crops.

Moral Victory: Taste of Paradise certainly would have won the race had he not been impeded midstretch. His trainer Gary Mandella was frustrated: "There isn't any question in my mind my horse is the best horse today. I get beat a nose, and no question he got interfered with." [Courier-Journal]

While Taste of Paradise's second place finish is enough for him to take the Blog Standings in the sprint division, Lost in the Fog will still certainly win the Eclipse. But here's a question for you: If Taste of Paradise had won, would he have deserved the Eclipse prize based on winning arguably the two most important Grade 1 spint stakes of the year?

Big Loser: The sport of kings.

- Those of you who purchased BC merchandise at the track Saturday may not want to know about the fire sale that was held on the stuff at Belmont on Sunday….Would you believe, three T-shirts for ten bucks?


Walter said...'s something i noticed yesterday, thought it was kinda interesting...remember that quote from Wesley Ward about 55-1 shot Lifestyle, where he said "he can win it, or things might night work out, and he could run sixth"...guess what, he finished 6th...

...i also found it interesting that he DID finish in front of Lost in the Fog...for those who weren't watching him during the race, Lifestyle was forced to check hard right after leaving the gate, and got shuffled back thru the pack, ending up about 10 lengths off the pace (which he was supposed to be contesting)...looked to be spinning his wheels down the backstretch after that, but turning for home he suddenly kicked into gear and started rolling on the outside...for a few moments i thought he might even get up for third, but it didn't happen...real nice effort, though...of course, NBC never showed a head-on replay, so i'm not sure what caused the checking incident, but i know what i saw, and it was pretty doubt i'll be backing Lifestyle in his next start (odds permitting), assuming he doesn't go back on the shelf...unfortunately, he won't be 55-1 next time... 8^P

alan said...

Walter -

thanks for pointing that out; I have to admit that once I heard Durkin call Lifestyle being far back, I dismissed him from my mind and no, I didn't realize that he finished ahead of LITF. They weren't exactly walking home, so to rally like that is impressive. But perhaps not as much as one of my alternate selections, Lion Tamer. He also got off to a bad start and rallied to get the show spot.

cookie jill said...

It was not a glorious day for the Sport of Kings.

I was bummed Foggy ran poorly. Heartbroken about the breakdown.