Lost In The Fog: Feb 2002 - Sep 2006; godspeed to you!
Sometimes horses just have the freaky nack of being able to apply blazing speed, Lost In the Fog is one of those horses. Setting a track record in your 2nd start (almost setting one in your first) and almost setting the World Record? That is wicked
Not sure if he is good for seven furlongs or more, they won't stretch him out for some time, but he does have amazing sprint potential
Lost in the Fog not lost at all as 2004's top speedster
Saturday, January 1, 2005
It's official: Lost in the Fog was the fastest 2-year-old in the nation in 2004.
The Golden Gate Fields-based colt earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 109 for his 14 3/4-length victory in Sunday's Arizona Juvenile at Turf Paradise as he ran 6 1/2 furlongs in a track-record 1:13.55 and missed the world record by . 31 of a second.
"Speed figures don't lie,'' trainer Greg Gilchrist said with a laugh. "How could you say you weren't happy and proud about something like that? It's a pretty neat thing to have, considering all the horses out there.''
The next-best Beyer by a 2-year-old was the 107 recorded by Declan's Moon in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 8. Declan's Moon, unbeaten in four starts, likely will win the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding 2-year-old after his victory in the Hollywood Futurity over Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Wilko.
Lost in the Fog also is unbeaten, having won his debut by 7 1/2 lengths on a muddy surface at GGF on Nov. 14 in :56.84 for 5 furlongs -- missing the track record by .62 of a second. He earned a 102 Beyer for that race, giving him two of the year's top 10.
"If it were a fast track, he probably would have broken the track record, '' Gilchrist said. "You're thinking, 'That can't be; there is something wrong with the clock.' At Turf Paradise, the track wasn't that fast, and you're thinking, 'Could a clock be off twice in a row?' Even knowing as much about him as I know, it's still amazing what he does and the times he does it in.''
Harry J. Aleo, an 85-year-old San Francisco native who still works at Twin Peaks Realty after 57 years there, bought Lost in the Fog privately in March after bidding on him in a Florida auction in which he went unsold. Aleo wouldn't say what he paid, although the colt went for $48,000 at a yearling sale in 2003, and he wouldn't say how much he's been offered for a horse that many would expect to be a Kentucky Derby candidate.
"It's too far ahead even to think about that stuff,'' Aleo said. "If I sold the horse and took all of this tons of money, I don't have a racehorse. I'm 85 years old, and I've been trying to get a great horse for 20 years. If I get all that money, I'd pay half in taxes and then I'd be out looking for another horse.''
Though most people in Gilchrist and Aleo's situation would be looking to run Lost in the Fog longer distances in anticipation of the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby, they're actually planning to shorten him to 6 furlongs for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash on Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.
"Probably, under normal circumstances, I would be looking to move this horse on to a route, if not next time, then the time after,'' Gilchrist said. "But when there is a race offered that is restricted to Florida-breds and California-breds for $250,000, you have to look at that race. A week after it is the Hutcheson Stakes going 7 1/2 furlongs. It's a Grade 2 and it's only $150,000 -- you tell me which is the tougher race. This is still a business. If we would handle ourselves well in Florida, then I'm pretty sure we'll stretch out the horse after that.''
Last edited by Glimmerglass; Sep. 18, 2006 at 01:55 PM.
Reason: updated status
This horse is very interesting, he's already had the tag 'freak' applied by several writers. Having been burned so many times by super-hot two-year olds over the past XX years (read: manylol ) who don't amount to a hill of beans the following spring, I hesitate to get excited about any of the top two-year-olds this year. Ok make that three-year-olds now. I think the '04 Belmont was just the straw that broke the camel's back for me. However, Lost In The Fog has piqued my interest, no doubt, and I look forward to the Sunshine Millions.
And then last month, Lost In The Fog turned in a jaw-dropping performance at Turf Paradise. He disputed a rapid pace, dueling through an opening half-mile in 43.78 seconds, and then drew clear to win the Arizona Juvenile Stakes by nearly 15 lengths, stopping the teletimer at 1:13.55 after 6 1/2 furlongs.
Young horses can't move that fast -- unless they're riding in the back of a van. The clocking, which lowered the track record of 1:13.80 set by the speedy G. Malleah in 1994, was so other-worldly that at least one observer suspected a typographical mistake as he reviewed charts of the day's races. But there was no mistake. The other 6 1/2-furlong races that day, for older horses, were run in 1:17.71 and 1:18.34.
For a horse to win so easily is, of course, very rare, and for a 2-year-old to set a track record at a commonly run distance is nothing less than extraordinary. Turf Paradise isn't the major leagues, but its teletimer insists Lost In The Fog could be a major league racehorse.
But Gilchrist, noting that the road to the Triple Crown can exact a heavy toll, said he's not going to rush the colt's development in an effort to get him to the Kentucky Derby. The Preakness, he said, is a more likely objective. Basically, he said, he's going to allow Lost In The Fog to develop at his own pace, to define himself in his own fashion. And in that defining lies much intrigue
The Blood-Horse 1/18/05 "Talking about the speed of this crop of 3-year-olds, the aforementioned Lost in the Fog, who has run freakishly fast times in both his starts, worked five furlongs last Saturday [1/15/05] in a scorching :57 4/5 over a dead strip at Golden Gate. The next fastest work of the 42 at that distance was 1:00 4/5."
Wow - a 3 second gap in work out times at the same distance!
At six-furlongs it should suit him fine .. I just hope that California speed comes with him. It should be great to watch!
Unbeaten Lost in the Fog searches for third win in Ocala Stud Dash Thoroughbred Times
After scoring emphatic victories at Turf Paradise and Golden Gate Fields in the first two starts of his career, Lost in the Fog will start on the other side of the country on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the $250,000 Ocala Stud Dash for three-year-olds on the Sunshine Millions program.
Lost in the Fog will take on nine rivals in the six-furlong Ocala Stud Dash, including three-time stakes winner B. B. Best.
A Florida-bred son of Yes Itâ€™s True, B. B. Best cuts back to one turn after finishing fourth to Greater Good in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) on November 27 at Churchill Downs. B. B. Best won the Dr. Fager division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at six furlongs on August 14 at Calder Race Course. He also took the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on October 23 at Calder.
All starters carry 120 pounds.
The field, in post-position order, with (sire), jockey, weight, and trainer:
1. Lucky Frolic (Carson City), Earlie Fires, Milton Wolfson;
2. Kruel Intention (Gold Case), Joe Bravo, Arthur Silvera;
3. B. B. Best (Yes Itâ€™s True), Eddie Castro, Eddie Plesa Jr.;
4. Lost in the Fog (Lost Soldier), Russell Baze, Greg Gilchrist;
5. Packy (Petersburg), Gary Boulanger, Mark Glatt;
6. Bushwacker (Outflanker), Rafael Bejarano, Bill Currin;
a-7. Seize the Day (Montbrook), Patrick Valenzuela, Kristin Mulhall;
a-8. Run Thruthe Sun (Memo [Chi]), Jon Court, Peter Eurton;
9. Santana Strings (Wheaton), John Velazquez, Steve Asmussen; and
10. Primitive Man (Outflanker), Jorge Chavez, Mike Mitchell.
Why, I know the man that owned Lost In The Fog as a yearling! He and one of his business partners purchased him at the OBS Aug. '03 yearling sale! Just found that out today from the woman that used to work for him and who partners on broodmares with him. Pretty cool!!!
HALLANDALE BEACH Â· As Lost In the Fog barreled down the stretch on his way to finishing off the most impressive performance on Saturday's Sunshine Millions program, most owners and trainers would have been overcome with Kentucky Derby fever.
Although Lost In the Fog distinguished himself as one of the country's brightest 3-year-old prospects with a 4 1/2-length victory in the $250,000 Dash, owner Harry Aleo and trainer Greg Gilchrist were hardly making plans for the first Saturday in May in the Gulfstream Park winner's circle.
"My thought right now is it's early to be thinking about stretching him out," said the 85-year-old Aleo, whose 3-5 favorite remained undefeated in three starts with a dominating front-running victory in the 6-furlong Dash. "I don't think either of us [is] thinking of Derby."
Lost In the Fog's quality certain is not an issue, particularly after his performance under Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, but his ability to carry his dazzling speed beyond sprint distances is still in question.
"I'll sit down and talk with Mr. Aleo as far as stretching him out in some of the bigger races," said Gilchrist, whose stable is based in Northern California. "There is a race called the Swale here going seven-eighths of a mile [March 5], if we decide not to go farther."
Lost in the Fog, who has captured his three starts by a combined 26 lengths, demonstrated a fondness for the Gulfstream racing strip Saturday. The son of Lost Soldier, who previously had been victorious at Golden Gate Fields and Turf Paradise, drew away in 1:09.96.
Dismissing nine opponents bred in Florida or California, Lost In the Fog handled his first cross-country trip with professionalism.
"Usually our tracks on the West Coast are harder and faster than they are on the East Coast. It's always in the back of your mind: Do I have my horse fit enough?" Gilchrist said. "When they turned for home, I knew I had [a fit horse]."
Before he appeared Saturday at Gulfstream Park, Lost in the Fog had never competed at a top-class track nor defeated a horse of any consequence. Yet he was already the most talked-about and coveted 3-year-old in America. "He's grabbed more headlines than Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston," the Daily Racing Form wrote.
Nothing excites the racing world like a youngster with enough raw talent to conceivably develop into a Kentucky Derby winner. And nothing stirs people in the business more than the possibility of buying such a prospect before he has realized his potential.
Lost in the Fog hardly possesses textbook credentials. But if Funny Cide could emerge from New York-bred competition to win the 2003 Derby, and Smarty Jones could go from Philadelphia Park to win the Derby in 2004, why can't a modestly bred colt from Golden Gate Fields do it in '05? Lost in the Fog made his racing debut at the northern California track in November and won a sensationally fast maiden race by 7 1/2 lengths. The next month he shipped to Turf Paradise in Arizona, where he won a minor stakes by 14 lengths, smashing a track record and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 109 -- the best by any 2-year-old in America in 2004. Owner Harry Aleo's telephone started ringing with offers.
Aleo has been a racing fan since the era of Seabiscuit and a thoroughbred owner for 25 years. He got involved in the sport after reading an article titled, "How to Make Money When Your Horse Loses," and he understands the pragmatic side of horse ownership. So when he received offers as high as $2 million for his still untested colt, he knew what his most rational course of action would be. Even his trainer, Greg Gilchrist, advised him to sell. Aleo said no.
Instead, he and Gilchrist brought Lost in the Fog to Gulfstream for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash, where he would face serious competition for the first time. One of his rivals was Bushwacker, a fast front-runner who had finished within two lengths of the nation's champion 2-year-old, Declan's Moon. It is easy for speedsters such as Lost in the Fog to look impressive dominating lesser rivals, but against other fast horses, Lost in the Fog could easily be drubbed and devalued. Aleo understood this. "This is the one we've got to win," the owner said before Saturday's race.
The speed horses came flying out of the gate in the Dash, and Lost in the Fog found himself abreast of Bushwacker and another lightning-fast front-runner from California. After they battled for a quarter of a mile, Lost in the Fog proceeded to run his rivals into the ground. He cruised away from the field (the demoralized Bushwacker struggled home eighth) and won by 4 1/2 lengths, running six furlongs in 1 minute 9.96 seconds. He's for real.
But a real what? Is he is a one-dimensional sprinter or a horse, like Funny Cide or Smarty Jones, who can carry his speed a classic distance? Gilchrist isn't sure. All he knows is that this colt has exceptional talent. He was convinced of it when he encouraged Aleo to buy the colt for $195,000 despite his modest pedigree. (His sire, Lost Soldier, is a well-bred horse of moderate accomplishments who stands at stud for a $7,500 fee.) The trainer betrayed his conservative nature with his effusive assessment of Lost in the Fog. Months before the colt ever ran, he brought Golden Gate's Hall of Fame jockey, Russell Baze, to his stall and said: "I want you to remember this horse. You're going to be on him."
But Gilchrist was thinking about having a fast horse, a productive horse, not necessarily a Derby horse, and now he is at a crossroads. The trainer has to decide whether to put Lost in the Fog on the fast track to the Kentucky Derby, knowing that the colt is not ideally bred for the classics; Lost Soldier's best distance was one mile. Gilchrist does believe, at least, that Lost in the Fog could learn to relax at longer distances instead of being the tearaway speed horse that he has been in his sprint victories.
Still, if it were his decision, he'd take the money and let somebody else take the chance that Lost in the Fog will be more than a sprinter. "If it had been my call," the trainer said frankly, "he'd be running for somebody else."
But it is the owner's call, and the owner is a man of firm opinions. Aleo has operated for 57 years out of the same storefront real-estate office in a San Francisco neighborhood that has become a bastion of liberalism. In Aleo's window is a sign that reads: "This is an island of traditional values in a sea of loony liberals."
Nobody is going to tell Harry Aleo what to do with a horse. "People keep calling me, and making me offers, and calling me back, but this horse is not for sale," he said. "I couldn't buy this kind of excitement and adventure for any price.
"I'm 85 years old. What am I going to do with more money? I'd just buy more horses anyway."
I'm with Lord Helpus on this one. I too have had my heart broken by promising youngsters, only the straw that broke my back was FuPeg. He had everything going for him. I'm still convinced that as soon as he won the Derby, he was worth SO MUCH MONEY that all parties involved decided not to risk running him all out again. Just my theory, but it makes sense, doesn't it?
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton
Lost In The Fog's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, and the colt's 85-year-old maverick owner, Harry Aleo, seem immune to the febrile madness that often overtakes owners and trainers this time of year.
"The road to the [Kentucky] Derby would be hard on him, given the schedule we'd have to follow," Gilchrist said.
"The Triple Crown can knock the hell out of a horse, and I'm not sure it's worth it," Aleo said bluntly.
And the Preakness might be a possibility for the fleet colt, Aleo said, but the Derby remains very doubtful.
"Some people just have too much money, and, when they see something they want, they think they can buy it," Aleo said. "But this horse isn't for sale. I'm in the racing business, not the selling business. Racing, that's the excitement for me."
Moreover, while fully recognizing the risks, Aleo said he won't cash in "like the Smarty Jones people" and retire Lost In The Fog prematurely. The owner said he intends to give Lost In The Fog an opportunity to "become a great racehorse," if that's indeed his destiny, and will race the colt as long as he's healthy and can perform at a high level.
I don't know it's so odd to people that Lost in the Fog wasn't nominated to the Triple Crown.
The $600 early-bird noms. for the Triple Crown happened before Lost in the Fog had really popped on the scene. They had no reason to believe he would be a big star.
That said though, I hate how people are saying "Lost in the Fog is off the Derby trail". News flash: Lost in the Fog was never *on* the Derby trail. His owner and trainer are making an intelligent move here. They're going to bring the horse along nice and easy, and if they decide to stretch him out, they can do it in whatever time-frame they'd like to. Also, Lost in the Fog doesn't exactly have a routers pedigree [though not every Derby winner does], and so far has shown no reason to think he *can* get the classic distances.
There's nothing wrong with being a champion sprinter. Champali, my favorite, was a good little sprinter, and it suited him and his connections just peachy keen.
vineyridge: what does his lack of Mr. Prospector have to do with... anything?
------------------------ I'll Call You Corey Model City Hammer Colihan Colin
Every time Harry Aleo's phone rings in San Francisco, he thinks it will be another offer to buy Lost In The Fog, who could be the fastest horse never to run in the Kentucky Derby.
"There are too many people out there with too much money," Aleo said. "I wish they wouldn't call. The horse is not for sale."
"I don't have any great aspirations to win the Derby," Aleo said. "There's usually about 20 horses that run, and the chances are pretty good that some of them will get hurt."
"A guy like Pletcher, if something happens to one of his horses, he moves on to the next one," Gilchrist said. "With Lost In The Fog, it's different. We want to take real good care of this horse. He's the only bullet in our holster."
BUT I suspect this horse is a genuine fast sprinter. Period. In other words, not a TC horse.
And as to FuPeg... He was actually the last TB I fell in loff with! My take on him is that he was, temperamentally, a complete throwback (via Danzig) to the Fair Play temperament, albeit of course considerably watered down. That horse was only ever going to come to the party if he dadgum well FELT like it, and he did nothing but goof around in the Belmont. Could he have won it? Probably. But the fact that he didn't BOTHER TRYING is actually what I like about that horse... http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif
"The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief