06/03/2007 11:00PM

At age 11, Boss Ego ends up at school


ALBANY, Calif. - In an era of early retirement and a rush to the breeding shed, Boss Ego is an anomaly.

Though a full horse and a stakes winner, Boss Ego was still running - and winning - this year at age 11. But his career on the racetrack came to an end after he finished seventh in a $16,000 claimer on March 17 at Golden Gate. His final victory, the 14th of his career, came Feb. 15 in a $10,000 claimer at Bay Meadows.

Boss Ego won the 2000 Alamedan at Pleasanton and the 2002 San Carlos at Bay Meadows and had earnings of $517,620. But there wasn't any real interest in the horse as a stallion, Hollendorfer said after Boss Ego's final victory, largely because the horse's pedigree - by Pleasant Tap out of the Encino mare Phoenix Sunshine - is not considered fashionable.

As it turns out, Boss Ego will serve as a stallion after all - at the University of California-Davis, the state's foremost veterinary school. Stallions are needed at the school to impregnate mares. Students at the school learn about diagnosing pregnancies, taking care of pregnant mares, and foaling and caring for broodmares and foals. Fifteen to 25 foals a year are produced at the university.

"We breed horses for teaching and foal research," said Dr. Gregory Ferraro, director of the Center for Equine Health at UC-Davis.

The university has a Quarter Horse stallion, a draft horse stallion, and was looking for a Thoroughbred stallion after the death of Masterful Advocate.

Boss Ego fit the bill.

"One thing we thought was great is that he's a sound horse," Ferraro said. "He's big, rangy, and good-looking. We're not so concerned about how fast the horses run. We sell them as riding horses, and with the Thoroughbred sire sometimes as hunter-jumpers. We sell them as weanlings and yearlings, and they get good homes."

Ferraro said that Boss Ego needed a "little education process" in becoming a stallion, but that he is picking up on his duties.

"We had to get him interested, but nature took its course," Ferraro said.

Boss Ego may also do a little work on the side. Hollendorfer's partners Bob Blanchard and Tom Maser have breeding seasons to Boss Ego, although Hollendorfer said he does not plan to breed to him.

McCann's Mojave treated for bleeding

McCann's Mojave bled badly in Saturday's Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap, but he seemed fine Sunday, reported trainer Steve Specht.

Specht said he would treat the 7-year-old millionaire with antibiotics to make sure there was no infection, then would probably send him to a farm for several months.

"He'd traveled to Florida where it was very hot and Santa Anita where it was hot," Specht said of McCann's Mojave's previous races. "It was such a cool day here, I never would have thought he'd bleed, but I know another horse also bled pretty bad Saturday. Maybe the air was heavy."

Closing day honors Lost in the Fog

Sunday's closing day will include the unveiling of a commemorative wall and plaque in memory of Eclipse sprint champion Lost in the Fog, as well as the first running of the Lost in the Fog Stakes for 2-year-olds.

A wall outside the turf club entrance will be dedicated to the talented sprinter. It will include the silks of owner Harry Aleo, the colt's bridle and halter, pictures from his victories, his lifetime past-performance lines, and a stunning head-on shot of the colt. The wall is in an area available to fans outside of the turf club admission area, and Golden Gate Fields will have the area open to all fans Sunday.

After the inaugural Lost in the Fog Stakes, there will be a ceremony for the champion, who died of cancer as a 4-year-old last September, with the unveiling of a plaque for him near a similar plaque for Silky Sullivan near the winner's circle.

"We appreciate what Golden Gate Fields has done," Lost in the Fog's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, said. "He brought us a lot of pleasure and a lot of thrills and put some money in a few people's pockets. If the horse were here and human, he would be proud of what they're doing for him."

Sixteen 2-year-olds, including four fillies, were nominated to the $50,000 Lost in the Fog at five furlongs. Gilchrist nominated Gorgeous Gibson, a $70,000 yearling purchase who won her May 16 debut, to run against colts.

The one to beat could be Imaginary Sailor, a half-brother of Cause to Believe, who was very impressive winning his debut May 18.

The closing Sunday will be the last of the meet's Dollar Days, with $1 admission, parking, programs, hot dogs, beer, and soda.

It will also be the Score Four finale in which fans who also attended on Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont days receive an all-weather coat.

Yerba Buena the final Saturday feature

The $75,000 Yerba Buena at 1 3/8 miles on the turf will be held Saturday as Golden Gate Fields concludes its meet with a pair of weekend stakes.

Thirteen fillies and mares were nominated for the marathon, including Somethinaboutlaura, a wire-to-wire winner in the May 13 Work the Crowd, and the British-bred Solva, who won her U.S. debut in the 1 1/4-mile La Zanzara on Feb. 1.