01/03/2006 12:00AM

Lost in the Fog targeted for April 22 return

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Greg Gilchrist was happy to greet an old friend this week when Lost in the Fog returned to his barn at Golden Gate Fields.

Lost in the Fog got two months' rest and relaxation at the Southern Chase Farm in Florida, where he grew up, following his seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, which snapped his 10-race winning streak. His Beyer Speed Figure of 98 also snapped his streak of triple-digit Beyer Figures at 10.

Gilchrist says Lost in the Fog's first start of 2006 will be in the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Sprint on April 22. The six-furlong race for older runners was originally planned as the Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Sprint before the track decided to use the Breeders' Cup funds on a different race, since Lost in the Fog isn't Breeders' Cup eligible.

Gilchrist said he would take his time getting Lost in the Fog back to the races, especially because of the wet weather in the area. He said the April 22 race would give him plenty of time without having to rush Lost in the Fog back.

"You like to target something," he said, adding that the chance to race Lost in the Fog on his home track made for an attractive starting point.

Baze top gun again

Russell Baze ended 2005 as the leading rider in North America in terms of victories (375) for the eighth time in his career and as the leading percentage rider for the 10th time in the past 11 years, winning at a 30 percent clip. He also led the nation in victories from 1992 to 1996, as well as in 2000 and 2002.

His 375 victories last year left him with 9,180 for his career, 350 victories shy of Laffit Pincay, the winningest jockey off all time, who retired with 9,530 wins.

And he started 2006 as if he were going to pass Pincay during the summer fair circuit, winning two races each of the first two days of 2006.

Last year, Baze led the second-leading jockey, Rodney Prescott, by 35 victories, even though Prescott had 810 more mounts than Baze.

Roberto Gonzalez had the most victories in his career last year, finishing 29th in the nation with 203 victories, the first time he has topped 200 wins.

"This was my best year because I didn't get hurt," Gonzalez said.

Other local riders in the national rankings were David Lopez, tied for 49th with 177 wins; Frank Alvarado, tied for 54th with 170 victories; Dennis Carr, tied for 87th with 145 victories; and Kevin Krigger, tied for 98th with 139 victories.

Baze was 20th in earnings with $7,300,798. Gonzalez was 57th with $4,019,520, Lopez 86th with $3,085,585, and Carr 97th with $2,794,977.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer ranked third nationally in wins with 281. Art Sherman was seventh with 193, Steve Miyadi 28th with 112, John Martin 30th with 108, Billy Morey 51st with 90, Ed Moger Jr. 72nd with 79, and Armando Lage tied for 89th with 70.

Hollendorfer finished 11th in earnings with $5,496,262, Sherman 28th with $3,368,732, Martin 74th with $1,891,118, and Moger 95th with $1,673,770.

Apprentice suspended

Apprentice jockey Edwin Fernandez, who survived an inquiry to record his first U.S. victory on Dec. 28, received a three-day suspension for that ride for what the stewards termed "failure to make a proper effort to maintain a straight course in the stretch" aboard Gold Jigger. Fernandez will miss Thursday through Saturday.

Roberto Gonzalez was suspended five days, Jan. 8 and Jan. 11-14, for, the stewards said, "failure to give his best efforts to the mount and to the public" for his ride aboard Classically Lit on Dec. 30. Classically Lit had a three-length lead in the lane and was beaten by odds-on Sunday Dream. Gonzalez didn't go to the whip until the final 100 yards.

Gonzalez defended his ride, saying: "I knew the other horse was coming. I was watching her. I was just waiting as long as I could before pulling the stick. She was running comfortably, and there is no rule that says you have to use the whip at the eighth pole or sixteenth pole. Some horses don't like the whip. I started riding when that horse got to within about a length and a half of me. The other filly just ran us down."

Two stepping up

Fallfree and Crossing Borders, both of whom have won two of their past three starts, step up to the $40,000 claiming level in Thursday's Bay Meadows feature.

Fallfree, making his first start since finishing second by a half-length in a $32,000 claimer at Santa Anita on Oct. 30, had won his previous two starts, at the $32,000 and $40,000 claiming levels. He was claimed for $50,000 from a June 16 victory at Hollywood Park.

Crossing Borders, claimed from an Oct. 23 victory in a $12,500 claimer at Golden Gate Fields, ran third for $20,000 before winning his last start for $25,000 and earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 90.