08/24/2006 12:00AM

Gilchrist isn't giving up


Although the outlook for champion sprinter Lost in the Fog remains grim, his handlers are pursuing an aggressive medication regimen in hopes of shrinking his cancerous tumors, trainer Greg Gilchrist said Thursday from his barn at Golden Gate Fields.

"It's a longshot, but this is a game where longshots come in," Gilchrist said. "When it's two outs, bottom of the ninth, you do what you can. Miracles do happen. I'm not a negative type of guy. I deal with what's in front of me, deal with it head on, and then move on if we have to. But right now, I'm not giving up on this horse. He's certainly still in with a chance, but it's a longshot."

Lost in the Fog last week was found to have three tumors, one of which - near his abdomen, just below his spine - is inoperable. Lost in the Fog returned to his barn at Golden Gate earlier this week, ostensibly to live out his final days around those who have cared for him since he came on the racetrack more than two years ago.

According to Gilchrist, Lost in the Fog is being treated with the steroid dexamethasone in an attempt to shrink the tumor, "and other stuff to build up his immune system," Gilchrist said.

Lost in the Fog also is receiving low doses of the painkiller Banamine.

"They're doing a culture on the biopsy, trying to find out what kind of lymphoma he has, to see what other drugs might help," Gilchrist said.

When Gilchrist was reached on Thursday, he was at the barn with Lost in the Fog, who he said was acting remarkably well.

"I'm just standing here, me and old Fog, and he's trying to eat my arm off," Gilchrist said. "He's eating everything we give him. We take him out and walk him, and give him some sun.

"He's eating lots of carrots. I've started giving away the flowers we were getting - they were stacking up everywhere. He got a bouquet of carrots, but that ain't gonna last long."

Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog is being treated like a member of a family with advanced cancer.

"We've all been touched by cancer in our lives, whether it's a mother, father, sister, aunt," Gilchrist said. "That's the situation here.

"We want to do everything. If we see it's futile, it's not going to work - as they say with humans, he has no quality of life - then we'll have to deal with the next step."