02/13/2006 12:00AM

Lost in the Fog shines through in work


ALBANY, Calif. - What could be a big week for the Lost in the Fog connections of owner Harry Aleo and trainer Greg Gilchrist got off to a perfect start on Sunday.

The Eclipse sprint champion, Lost in the Fog had his first workout in preparation for his 2006 campaign, an easy 36.20 three-furlong work that put smiles on the faces of Gilchrist, Aleo, and jockey Russell Baze. It was the third-fastest time of 14 at the distance.

There were quite a few trainers who made it over to the track immediately after the second morning break to watch the work, which the 4-year-old colt handled effortlessly.

The most excitement occurred when a horse dropped his rider and got loose on the racetrack just as Lost in the Fog began backtracking to the three-furlong pole to start his work. Outriders quickly handled the situation without incident, and Lost in the Fog was able to proceed after only a very brief delay.

"He went even 12's. It was very good for a first workout," said Gilchrist, who has a schedule of nine or 10 workouts mapped out before the colt's planned April 22 return in the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Sprint.

"It's no different than a human. You don't want him at his best when he marches on the track for the first time.

"He did just what we wanted," Baze said. "We just didn't want to get him wound up."

Baze was a very quiet passenger, never encouraging the colt, who ran straight as a string down the lane.

Baze, who rode Lost in the Fog in all but one of his 11 starts, joked afterward that he would give Gilchrist a "tentative call" to ride the colt.

Aleo was beaming afterward.

"It looks like he's enjoying it," he said of Lost in the Fog.

Aleo was also beaming later Sunday afternoon when his Smokey Stover won his career debut very impressively.

Gilchrist had told jockey Macario Rodriquez to be "on his toes" at the start, and that he believed Smokey Stover would be forwardly placed in the race. But Smokey Stover hesitated in the gate, spotting the rest of the field close to five lengths.

Rodriquez didn't rush Smokey Stover, although he was already in mid-pack by the time the field completed its opening quarter-mile. Smokey Stover moved between runners to get into contention down the backstretch, and Rodriguez guided him into the clear on the outside. Smokey Stover swept past the leaders into the lane and then kept going to defeat another Gilchrist entrant, Firebaugh, by 2 1/2 lengths, covering six furlongs in 1:09.22. But when you consider the lengths he spotted the rest of the field, he probably covered the distance in under 1:09.

Smokey Stover, a $140,000 purchase at 2 last year, is by Put It Back out of the Jolie's Halo mare Milady's Halo.

Stakes-packed holiday week

Golden Gate Fields begins a six-day holiday week on Wednesday that should be quite exciting.

The first two overnight stakes of the meeting will be held Wednesday and Thursday, and an early Triple Crown buzz horse, Point Determined, was entered on Friday's card.

An attractive overnight stakes is also planned for Sunday, and Monday's card will include the Grade 3, $150,000 All American Handicap at 1 1/8 miles.

Sprinters are in the spotlight in Wednesday's $40,000 Fairfax Stakes, a six-furlong race that will be a rematch between Halo Cat and Carthage.

Halo Cat, who has won five races at Golden Gate, defeated Carthage by two lengths here in November. Carthage turned the tables in the San Carlos Handicap at Bay Meadows, winning by four.

Halo Cat is coupled with Jeffries Bay, who just earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100 with a victory in a $62,500 optional claimer. The field also includes stakes winners Seattles Best Joe, Wind Water, and Courts in Session.

On Thursday, 3-year-old fillies sprint six furlongs in the $40,000 Tiburon. Stakes winners Country Vision, Cinderella Liberty, and Devons Smokin are entered, and they may be the highest prices on the board. Undefeated Victorina will make her third career start for Aleo. Princess Patricia, a 14 3/4-length winner in her last start, and Press Camp, who earned a Beyer Figure of 104 in a nine-length victory at Bay Meadows, are also entered.

On Friday, Point Determined, the highly regarded Bob Baffert-trained colt, was entered in an $80,000 optional claimer at one mile. He drew the outside spot in a field of five. Baffert said Monday that Point Determined is a definite starter. Point Determined worked a half-mile in 47 seconds on Monday at Santa Anita.

Frisco Star, Aleo's top 3-year-old prospect, is being pointed to the six-furlong Novato overnight stakes on Sunday.

Monday's All American will include two Jerry Hollendorfer-trained runners, probably Ace Blue and Adreamisborn. Ron Ellis is leaning to the race with Buzzards Bay but said he wanted to see the weights before making a final determination.

Brazilian-breds Marenostrum and Molengao and Melanyhasthepapers are also being considered for the race. Chilean Triple Crown winner Trotamondo is still fighting a bruised foot and will pass.

Monday's holiday card will have $1 parking, general admission, Daily Racing Forms, programs, hot dogs, and sodas.

Sierra Sweetie headed east

Trainer Jeff Bonde said that Saturday's California Breeders' Cup Oaks winner, Sierra Sweetie, came out of the race fine. She will have one more start, possibly in the Ashland at Keeneland, before the Kentucky Oaks, which is her primary goal.

"I want her to get a race on a softer track," Bonde said of his reasoning for sending the filly east.

Bonde was so pleased with the ride apprentice Martin Garcia gave Sierra Sweetie in Saturday's victory that he said he would consider keeping him on the filly.