07/06/2005 12:00AM

Lost in the Fog: One race at a time


MIAMI - While it's a logical assumption that Lost in the Fog is on a direct path to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, trainer Greg Gilchrist said Tuesday it's still a little too early to pencil his undefeated speedball into the race just yet.

Gilchrist accompanied Lost in the Fog to Calder last weekend to prepare him for Saturday's $300,000 Carry Back Stakes, in which Lost in the Fog, a northern California based 3-year-old, will be the overwhelming favorite to post his eighth win in as many starts.

"Right now the race Saturday is what we have on mind, and after that I'll continue to just let one race build off another," said Gilchrist. "At the moment I'm thinking about having him run three more times this year, and that includes the Carry Back. The main thing is to give him a little rest to carry into next year. I'll take him back home after this one and might even turn him out in a grass paddock for a week or so to give him a little vacation. If all goes well here this weekend, we'd probably consider the race at Saratoga, which would give him seven weeks off."

Gilchrist was referring to the Grade 1 King's Bishop on Aug. 27.

"The Breeders' Cup Sprint doesn't have to happen," said Gilchrist. "I'm pretty old-school when it comes to running 3-year-olds against older horses, although the Breeders' Cup is not until late October, so it's a little easier to do at that time of the year. But I'd also really like to try him in a route race once before we give him a break for the winter, just to get a better idea where we stand when trying to plan his campaign for next season. Everything kind of jumped up and happened so fast this year, we didn't really have an opportunity to plan things too far in advance."

Caller One back from year's layoff

The richest horse running on Saturday's $1.9 Summit of Speed program was also the richest horse to run in the 2004 edition of the annual event: Caller One.

Caller One has career earnings that stand at just under $3.2 million. The two-time winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen is entered Saturday in the two-furlong Rocket Man Stakes along with stablemate Ain't It Sweep. If he starts, it would be the 8-year-old Caller One's first appearance since finishing third in the 2004 Rocket Man.

Caller One suffered a fractured sesamoid preparing for the Smile Sprint Handicap during the summer of 2002. He was idle for over two years before his unexpected return in last year's Rocket Man.

"We were planning to race him again after the Rocket Man last year, but it just didn't work out," said trainer James Chapman. "He was up to five-furlong works here when he started to inexplicably bleed in the mornings, which came as a complete surprise, because he'd never done that in the past. In fact, he won both Dubai races without even getting Lasix."

Caller One was sent back to Chapman's farm, located just outside Ocala, Fla., near the end of last summer, but returned here for another try this spring.

"He's just not happy at the farm," said Chapman. "This is where he's happy, at the racetrack. I've had him here with me since I came in, and while he shows only one recorded work, he's done more. I like to get him out real early, around 5:30 a.m., to train over a freshly harrowed racetrack, so he's done most of his work in the dark.

"I'm still not sure if I'll run him on Saturday, but if he does start I don't see why he can't win. He broke slow and got into trouble in the race last year and just got beat. Whether he runs or not, I'm hopeful I can keep him in training and campaign him regularly throughout the remainder of the season."

Caller One won't be the only 8-year-old gelding in the Rocket Man. Pembroke Hall is also 8 and will ship back down from Fort Erie to defend his title, although he will be in different hands this time around.

Pembroke Hall, a two-furlong specialist, ran for owner Darryl Jackson and trainer Donald MacRae when he outsprinted Love My Mountain and Caller One to capture the 2004 Rocket Man. He will return in the colors of the Against the Wind Stable and trained by Debra Rombis on Saturday after being claimed for $12,500 from MacRae out of his 2005 debut at Fort Erie on June 14.

Pembroke Hall is technically still "in jail" at his home track and would not be allowed to race outside of Fort Erie coming off a claim without receiving special permission from the track stewards to defend his Rocket Man title.

"More than a few trainers up here considered dropping a claim slip for him with the race down there in mind," Fort Erie's racing secretary, Tom Gostlin, said. "The rule states that a horse in jail off a claim can go out of town to run in any race that carries black type, which is the case with the one at Calder this weekend."

Nightmare Affair was the only horse entered in one of the four graded stakes on Saturday's card to work here Wednesday, going a half-mile in 49.80 seconds from the gate. A stretch-running son of Out of Place, he will compete in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap.