Updated on 09/17/2011 11:19PM

BC Sprint: Absence of other stars keeps the spotlight on Lost in the Fog


When summer began, the sprint division was as deep and talented as it has been in years. But that situation changed drastically because of the death of Saratoga County, the recent retirement of Forest Danger, and the uncertain status of Pico Central.

Despite the loss of several marquee performers, the 2005 Breeders' Cup Sprint will still be one of the most talked about races on Breeders' Cup Day, scheduled for Oct. 29 at Belmont Park. The reason is the emergence of one of the sport's brightest prospects, the undefeated 3-year-old Lost in the Fog.

Lost in the Fog has combined his blinding speed, an unblemished record, and the popularity he achieved by traveling from coast to coast to rise from relative anonymity when the year began to the likely favorite for the Sprint. His is also one of the most compelling stories of this year's Breeders' Cup program.

"Every race presents a new challenge, something we haven't looked at before, and obviously the Breeders' Cup will be just that," said trainer Greg Gilchrist, who trained Soviet Problem, the secind finisher in the 1994 Sprint. "And as a result, you're always going to have questions and a few doubts in the back of your mind about whether you will get the job done. But we will approach the Sprint like we have every other race. There aren't too many secrets when it comes to Lost in the Fog. And as I've said over and over this year, I would love to be going into a race with the favorite every time."

Lost in the Fog will have one more prep before the six-furlong BC Sprint, the six-furlong Bay Meadows Speed Handicap on Oct. 1, which will mark the first time Lost in the Fog has started against older horses.

As for Pico Central, trainer Paulo Lobo is still hopeful he can make the Breeders' Cup. Pico Central has started just once since finishing a troubled fourth behind Saratoga County as the favorite in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, finishing ninth in the Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar on July 31.

"He bled badly in his last start, even with the Lasix," said Lobo. "It's the first time he has done that, and he even ran without Lasix in Dubai. But his only two bad races have come at Del Mar, so maybe it's just that he doesn't like it up there."

Pico Central is being pointed for a defense of his title in Belmont Park's Grade 1 Vosburgh Handicap on Oct. 1.

"He's training very good right now," said Lobo. "If he runs well in the Vosburgh, we will come back to New York for the Breeders' Cup."

The Vosburgh and the Grade 1 Ancient Title at Hollywood Park the following weekend are the last two major preps leading up to the Sprint.

Another potential candidate for the Sprint is Commentator, who finished a tiring third after forcing a fast pace going nine furlongs in last Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward. Commentator has never run six furlongs but is undefeated and untested at distances up to a mile.

3-year-olds & up, 6 furlongs. Purse: $1 million.

1CommentatorN. Zito5-1
Six furlongs may be too short, but is capable of some very fast races
2Woke Up DreaminB. Baffert4-1
Freshened after two good wins in important sprint stakes; very logical
3PomeroyP. Biancone6-1
He ran right out of his mind in his dazzling victory in the Vanderbilt
4Lost in the FogG. Gilchrist2-1
America's darling hasn't beaten a good horse, let alone an older one
5Battle WonC. Simon10-1
Runs well everywhere he goes, but three straight seconds are a worry
6Pico CentralP. Lobo12-1
A lost season so far for the best one-turn horse in the country last year
7Greg's GoldD. Hofmans12-1
Recently emerged with his Crosby win; next race will tell if he's for real
8Wildcat HeirB. W. Perkins Jr.15-1
The 2004 De Francis winner has talent; he also has lots of layoff lines
9Unfurl the FlagD. Bernstein20-1
A sixth as the chalk in the Crosby failed to back up his Triple Bend win
10Mass MediaR. Frankel15-1
Upset winner of Forego has to prove he wasn't being an opportunist

The top 10 contenders for each of the eight Breeders' Cup races are ranked by Mike Watchmaker, who set the odds and wrote the comments. Actual Breeders' Cup fields will have up to 14 starters.