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Monday, October 24, 2005

More Thoughts on Lost in the Fog

- I’m taking a look at the BRIS pace figures for the Sprint, and if you think they are credible, they indicate that Lost in the Fog could indeed have some company up front. Recent pace ratings for Atilla’s Storm, Battle Won, and Lifestyle are competitive with those of LITF, and the figs for Pomeroy’s effort two back at Saratoga in the Vanderbilt are off the board. He could be the key to the race – his last effort at Belmont seems too poor to believe; even with a sluggish start he showed no catch-up speed at all. Perhaps his Vanderbilt was too much to recover from?

A couple of things distinguish LITF from the abovementioned speedsters though – as opposed to the others, his late pace numbers show that he has the ability to run fast early and still have something left late. And there’s the matter of chart comments like “Never asked for best,” “Laid down pace, clear,” and “Never asked, dominated,” that indicate that he can do better if necessary. The question is whether he can softened up enough to give stalkers and closers such as Taste of Paradise, Imperialism, or Wildcat Heir a shot. The latter earned stellar figures all around for his effort in August at Monmouth.

Jockey Russell Baze told SF Gate how LITF has dealt with potential early challengers in prior races.

"He breaks quickly, and when the other guys see how easily he's doing it, they probably realize it would be suicide to try to go after him…..They think he's going to crumble, but he doesn't. I don't doubt that one or two horses in the Breeders' Cup will send hard, and we'll play it by ear. He's shown that he doesn't have to have the lead if someone else wants to go too fast."
And trainer Greg Gilchrist points to the history of the Sprint at Belmont:
At his hotel, he has the charts from the three Breeders' Cup Sprint races previously run at Belmont, which clearly show being on the lead, which is where Lost in the Fog likes to run, is a good thing.

In 1990, Safely Kept and Dayjur were one-two the whole way; in 1995, Desert Stormer led the whole way and Mr. Greeley was second the entire six furlongs; and in 2001, though Squirtle Squirt was third early, he was less than two lengths from the lead and the two leaders, Xtra Heat and Caller One, finished second and third. [Bloodhorse]
- Tim Ritchey on plans for Afleet Alex:
"I want to schedule another set of X-rays within the next five or six days to see how he's coming along. He will stay in New York and keep up the big gallops until I decide to work him. I might even look at a prep for him, but right now we want to run in the Cigar Mile [Nov 26 at the Big A] if he is 100% and then take him down to Gulfstream." [NY Daily News]