06/06/2006 11:00PM

It's a weighting game for Lost in the Fog

Churchill Downs
Lost in the Fog, winning the Aristides, is pointing to the Smile Handicap.

MIAMI - Other than owner Harry Aleo and trainer Greg Gilchrist, nobody was rooting any harder for Lost in the Fog to win Saturday's Aristides Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs than the brain trust at Calder Race Course, who are hoping to lure the reigning Eclipse sprint champion back to their track for the $500,000 Smile Handicap on July 15. The Smile and the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap are the centerpieces of the $1.96 million Summit of Speed program.

Lost in the Fog shipped from his northern California base to Calder for last summer's Summit of Speed, and he stole the show with a 7 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes. It would appear, following his impressive win in the Aristides, that the Florida-bred Lost in the Fog will be heading back to his home state again next month.

But trainer Greg Gilchrist said that one thing could prevent Lost in the Fog from coming: weight.

"There are other races to look at, including one at Hollywood Park, but the timing is good, six weeks from the Aristides, to come back to Calder," Gilchrist said from Golden Gate Fields on Tuesday. "And I'm not really concerned with who else is coming. We've always thrown our hat in the ring and said, 'This is where we're going,' and it's up to the other people to decide whether they want to come or not. For the most part our decision will probably depend on the weights. Lost in the Fog probably deserves to pick up a pound off his last race. But I'm already spotting everybody eight or nine pounds every time he runs, so there is really only so much weight we can handle."

Lost in the Fog carried 124 pounds, conceding seven pounds to the runner-up, Kelly's Landing, in the Aristides, Lost in the Fog's second start since finishing seventh as the 3-5 favorite in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Sprint. Lost in the Fog toted 125 pounds, eight more than the winner, when he was second behind Carthage launching his 2006 campaign in the Golden Gate Sprint on April 22.

"When I ran the horse the first time this year, it was a very difficult situation for any trainer to be in," said Gilchrist. "The whole day was built around Lost in the Fog, and I knew I was probably running a horse who was not where I wanted him to be for the race.

Gilchrist said he had "a long discussion" with Lost in the Fog's regular rider, Russell Baze, before the Golden Gate Sprint, and told him, "We do not want to compromise ourselves for the rest of the year to win this race today."

"That being said," Gilchrist said Tuesday, "I got beat by a very nice horse that day."

Gilchrist said he could not have been more pleased with Lost in the Fog's performance in the Aristides.

"He was a much different horse at Churchill Downs," said Gilchrist. "A lot fitter. And as a result the outcome was a lot better. I really think he'll even be a better horse the next time. I still don't think I had him dead fit last weekend. It takes racing to get him back into his game. Now he should be ready to really rock and roll next time."

Gilchrist said that if all goes according to plan he will run Lost in the Fog just two or three more times before his ultimate goal, which is to gain a measure of redemption in the Breeders' Cup.

"If all goes well at Calder, I'd probably think about something like the Forego and then perhaps one more start, maybe even a race back home like we did last year, before going to the Breeders' Cup," said Gilchrist.

The seven-furlong Forego is scheduled for Sept. 2 at Saratoga.

"If lucky enough to get back to the Breeders' Cup, we'd like to come in with half as many races under our belt as we had last year," said Gilchrist.

Calder's racing secretary, Mike Anifantis, said it was still a little too early to talk about who else might be looking to ship in for the Smile.

"When I was in California I spoke to the connections of the first four finishers from the Dubai Golden Shaheen and all expressed an interest in coming here for the Smile," said Anifantis, referring to Proud Tower Too, Thor's Echo, Jet West, and Captain Squire. "We also spoke to Bobby Frankel about bringing Major Success, and getting Bordonaro from Bill Spawr." Also expected to run is Gold Storm.

Anifantis will also have a member of his staff, Chip Spencer, at Belmont Park this weekend to drum up interest from New York horsemen in all eight Summit of Speed stakes.

Honored Image beats winners

The first winner's race for 2-year-olds here went to Honored Image, a son of Halo's Image, who finished full of run to defeat Dillon Said in Tuesday's main event. Dillon Said survived an early speed duel with Jaxamillion but could not hold off Halo's Image in the closing strides of the five-furlong dash.

Honored Image is trained by Larry Pilotti for owner Siobhan P. Ellison and was ridden to victory by the meet's leading jockey, Manoel Cruz.

* Friday's feature, the $45,000 Mataji Stakes, drew a field of 10 scheduled to go 11 furlongs on the turf, although of that group, A.J. Melini, Tacit Agreement, and Hopefortheroses are also entered in Saturday's 1 1/2-mile New York New York Stakes on the main track. Big Luck, Our Finale, and the graded-stakes-placed Dancing Master are among the key contenders expected to start in the Mataji.