07/12/2006 11:00PM

Lost in the Fog in deep in Smile

Lost in the Fog (right) beat Kelly's Landing in the Aristides at Churchill.

MIAMI - A year ago Lost in the Fog cakewalked over a modest field of 3-year-olds in Calder's Carry Back Stakes, posting a career-best 116 Beyer Speed Figure while registering the sixth of his eight straight victories on the season. On Saturday, the reigning Eclipse Award-winning sprinter will find his competition quite a bit stiffer when he returns to Calder for the Grade 2, $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap, a six-furlong dash that highlights the $2 million Summit of Speed.

It has taken just six years for the Summit of Speed to blossom into one of the major stops on the national racing calendar. The day's other $500,000 stakes, the Princess Rooney, was awarded Grade 1 status for the first time this year. The $300,000 Carry Back is a Grade 2 race, and the $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies is a Grade 3. There are nine stakes to be run Saturday on an outstanding 13-race card, which also offers a $500,000-guaranteed all-stakes pick five wager.

figures to go off as the heavy favorite in the Smile despite having lost 2 of his last 3 starts and being assigned a staggering 125-pound weight assignment.

"Things are a lot different for him this year," said Greg Gilchrist who trains Lost in the Fog for owner Harry Aleo. "As a 3-year-old he was racing against a select group of horses in his own age group for most of the season. When we came here last summer and looked over the field for the Carry Back, we knew we were supposed to win. But I certainly can't say that this year, especially considering the fact we're giving a lot of weight to some pretty nice horses."

Lost in the Fog had his 10-race win streak ended in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. He opened his 4-year-old campaign finishing second behind Carthage in the Golden Gate Sprint before bouncing back to win Churchill Downs's Grade 3 Aristides Handicap in his last start.

"I probably didn't have him completely ready for his first race this year," Gilchrist said. "But the way he won the Aristides I'd say he's just as good now as he was when he came here last year."

Gilchrist said he is not about to change Lost in the Fog's running style even with the abundance of speed in the Smile lineup.

"There looks like there should be plenty of pace in this race, but we'll send him out of there like usual," said Gilchrist. "He is versatile enough where he doesn't have to be in front, but I don't want him to get too far back in a race like this."

There are six other ship-ins in the field, including , B. B. Best, Chandtrue, and Mister Fotis. Chandtrue and Pomeroy are coupled in the wagering.

Weigelia began his career at Calder and is coming off a track-record performance, winning a six-furlong optional claimer over the Belmont Park turf course on June 17. He also won the Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap over Calder's main track in his 2005 finale.

"I'm using the same turf-to-dirt angle that worked for the Jack Dudley last year, although obviously with the champ in there this is going to be a much tougher spot," said Weigelia's trainer Michael Trombetta. "But this is a handicap and I think the 10 pounds we're getting from Lost in the Fog is appropriate."

Friendly Island, winner of the Grade 3 Maryland Breeders' Cup handicap on May 20, also figures to force the pace, along with Gold Storm and Joey P.

Gaff finished a troubled third behind Friendly Island in the Maryland BC while making his first start since his fifth-place finish in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Pomeroy makes his first start on the comeback trail after undergoing surgery to remove a chip in his ankle following the Grade 1 Vosburgh Handicap in 2005.

Nightmare Affair finished a late-running third behind Woke Up Dreamin in the 2005 Smile.