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Bar shoe no big deal for Fog, Gilchrist says
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Greg Gilchrist raised a few eyebrows Sunday morning when he revealed that for the last few weeks his undefeated sprinter, Lost in the Fog, has been training in a bar shoe to protect a quarter crack in his left hind foot.
Gilchrist said, however, that he doesn't believe the foot will be an issue when Lost in the Fog runs in Saturday's Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga, and he doesn't expect Lost in the Fog to race with the bar shoe on.
"I would doubt very seriously that he wears it in the race," Gilchrist said Monday from northern California. "I'm not even concerned about that foot. It's not bothering him. I wouldn't say it won't bother him after the race, but you've got to play hurt sometimes. It's not a major thing."
It certainly didn't seem to bother Lost in the Fog on Sunday, when he worked five furlongs in 1:00.96 over a muddy Saratoga main track. Under Edgar Prado, Lost in the Fog went his first quarter in 25.69 seconds and got his last three-eighths in 35.27.
"I didn't want to take the bar shoe off for the work, because I was afraid he might split the quarter open," Gilchrist said. "At the same time, I was a little concerned he might get to slipping on the racetrack, so I cautioned Edgar about that, too. He said he never felt anything the whole way."
Gilchrist said the quarter crack was diagnosed since Lost in the Fog won the Carry Back Stakes at Calder on July 10 in his most recent race. That win was his eighth from as many starts.
The King's Bishop, run at seven furlongs, could mark a match-up between Lost in the Fog and Bellamy Road, the impressive Wood Memorial winner, who finished seventh as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. The connections of Bellamy Road have not yet decided whether he will run in the King's Bishop or the Travers, though they have hinted at the King's Bishop.
"If he's in there, he's in there. It won't change anything we do or any way we attack the race," Gilchrist said. "We'll just do what we always do - show up, and if we're good enough, we'll win. If we're not good enough, we'll get beat."
Others pointing to the King's Bishop are Better Than Bonds, Fusaichi Rock Star, Social Probation, and The Daddy. Santana Strings, winner of the Amsterdam Stakes, is possible.
Better Than Bonds, an allowance winner over this track last out, worked four furlongs in 47.86 seconds Monday at Saratoga. Fusaichi Rock Star, winner of the Grade 2 San Vicente in February, went five furlongs in 59 seconds Sunday at Del Mar. Fusaichi Rock Star was due to ship here Wednesday.
Suave's connections lean toward Jockey Club
Suave, a 2 3/4-length winner of Sunday's Saratoga Breeders' Cup, may make his next start in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 1, his trainer, Paul McGee, said Monday.
McGee said Suave came out of the Spa Cup in good order and was scheduled to return to Louisville, Ky. on Wednesday. A son of A.P. Indy, Suave earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 107 for Sunday's effort. McGee said he is also considering the Hawthorne Gold Cup, run on Sept. 24, for Suave, but added that he is leaning toward the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Ashado works with unraced stablemate
A five-furlong workout by the reigning Breeders' Cup Distaff champion would normally attract plenty of attention. But Ashado's final prep for Friday's Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes was lost in the shuffle here Monday, between Roman Ruler, Flower Alley, and Reverberate's final works for Saturday's Travers - so lost, in fact, that even Ashado's owners, Jack and Laurie Wolf, missed her work.
The Wolfs were in the press box expecting to see Ashado work in company, as she often does, with Flower Alley. But trainer Todd Pletcher called a late audible, opting to send Ashado with an unraced and unnamed 2-year-old stablemate.
"Todd's assistant told us Ashado and Flower Alley were still going together when the horses came on the track," Jack Wolf said. "I was watching Angel [Cordero] backing Flower Alley up around the turn, expecting he and Ashado were going to join up. Unfortunately, Ashado was already completing her work at that time."
Ashado was officially credited with breezing five furlongs in 1:00.72.
"I would have worked them together if they'd been able to go Saturday or Sunday," Pletcher said. "But I was afraid, with Ashado's race now only four days out, that they might go a little too fast if I put them together."
Ashado will be a heavy favorite in the Personal Ensign coming off one-sided victories in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps and Go for Wand handicaps.
"She sure looks like she's back at the top of her game from her last two races," said Pletcher.
Ashado's presence will ensure a small field for the Personal Ensign, which is run at 1 1/4 miles. Island Sand, Two Trail Sioux, and Personal Legend are among the more likely contenders. A Song in A Minor, who is entered in an allowance race here Thursday, also remains possible for the Personal Ensign.
Offlee Wild's future: Gold Cup or retirement
The future of Offlee Wild, who finished last as the 3-5 favorite in the Saratoga Cup, is uncertain. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. was not happy with the way Offlee Wild cooled out after the race, but did say he was looking better on Monday. Dutrow and owner Lansdon Robbins said they would wait a few days and re-evaluate Offlee Wild before determining whether to point to the Jockey Club Gold Cup or retire him.
"He looks better today than yesterday. We'll have to see," Dutrow said. "One day at a time. It doesn't look great, though, because he's worth so much money. Who wants to go out there and see him hurt himself? No one would like seeing that. If he turns around and starts training unbelievable - if that's how far he gets - we'll go. If he doesn't, we'll just send him out."
Offlee Wild won the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont in July. He was purchased by Darley Stable to be a stallion.
Sis City may try the turf
Dutrow said that Sis City, who finished fourth, beaten 16 lengths, in Saturday's Alabama, may be headed to the turf. Dutrow said he plans to work Sis City on the grass in the next two weeks to see how she handles it.
"She's supposed to love it," Dutrow said. "We've been talking about that for such a long time. It's time to either freshen her up or put her on the grass. We'll try the grass first."
Dutrow said he could find nothing physically wrong with Sis City following the Alabama, her third consecutive poor performance. Sis City flopped in the Kentucky Oaks and Delaware Oaks after winning the Davona Dale and Ashland earlier in the year.
Sweet Symphony likely to go in Beldame
Sweet Symphony, the Alabama winner, is likely to make her next start in the $750,000 Beldame Stakes against older fillies and mares on Oct. 1 at Belmont Park, trainer Bill Mott said.
"If she ran well there, the Breeders' Cup [Distaff] would be a possibility," Mott said.
Saratoga View euthanized
Saratoga View, an 8 1/2-length winner of a New York-bred maiden allowance race in her career debut earlier in the meet, was euthanized after breaking down during the latter stages of a workout Monday.
"He was working out to the mile pole and was about a sixteenth of a mile past the finish line when he shattered his left front cannon bone," said trainer Rick Violette. "I don't know if he took a bad step, but he went down like a shot. Fortunately, the rider did not get hurt."
Violette said he had been planning to run Saratoga View, a 3-year-old gelding, within the next week.
"He had a lot of talent and was doing great," said Violette. "It's a shame, because his owners had shown a lot of patience but wound up only getting to see him make one start."
* Smuggler, who was forced to miss the Alabama because of a fever, was credited with a four-furlong move in 52.76 seconds Monday morning. Trainer Shug McGaughey said it was really a three-furlong move and that Smuggler galloped out four furlongs in that time.
- additional reporting by Mike Welsch