06/09/2011 7:47AM

Golden Gate lures bargain buys for Lost in the Fog


There are some bargain buys among the six 2-year-olds trying to win Saturday’s $50,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

Mighty Monsoon cost only $7,000 at the March Ocala Breeders Sales Co. auction. Compass Rock sold for $6,000 and Baby Black for $3,200 at Keeneland last September.

And then there’s the aptly named Sold Short, who sold for only $400 – no, there’s not a missing zero – after failing to meet his reserve at last fall’s Northern California sale in Pleasanton.

Trainer Jeff Bonde sends likely favorite Mighty Monsoon in a bid for a hat trick in the Lost in the Fog, a five-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds on the Tapeta. In 2009, Bonde won the Lost in the Fog with Smiling Tiger, who has become a multiple Grade 1 winner, and last year he won with Road Ready.

Mighty Monsoon got off slowly, then was bothered early in his May 20 debut at four furlongs here. He was fifth, 10 lengths back at the quarter pole, and won the race by a half-length after covering his final quarter in 24.19 seconds He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 57.

Despite his bargain sale price, Mighty Monsoon is a son of Forestry and a half-brother of Grade 1 winner Meadow Breeze. He drew the outside post in the field of six.

Sold Short will be saddled by his owner, Sam DiLaura, who just acquired his training license Wednesday. Sold Short ran second as the favorite to Compass Rock in a two-furlong race here in his debut before winning at 4 1/2 furlongs here in his second start and earning a Beyer of 61. He was trained in those races by Guillermo Preciado.

DiLaura, who recently retired after driving a delivery truck for Berkeley Farms dairy for 25 years, has a long history in racing. He worked the track kitchen at Pleasanton with his father while still in high school. His father and later his mother ran the track kitchen at Los Alamitos. His late brother was jockey Luis Quinones’s agent for 15 years.

He was leaving the Pleasanton sale last fall when he walked by Sold Short’s barn on the way out and was offered a chance to buy the gelding.

“I had five $100 bills in my pocket and had promised to take my wife out for dinner,” DiLaura said.

He offered $400 and bought a horse.

“The guy said he didn’t want to take him back to the farm,” DiLaura said. “I think he scared some people off because he was pretty high spirited, but he’s a nice little horse.”