04/10/2005 11:00PM

Lost in the Fog will stay home for Golden Bear

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Lost in the Fog's next race will come at Golden Gate Fields in a race that apparently is being run, at least in part, to attract him. The race, the $150,000 Golden Bear Breeders' Cup Handicap, is for 3-year-olds at six furlongs on May 14.

The Golden Bear traditionally has been the first Derby prep race of the Golden Gate meeting, followed by the Gold Rush and the California Derby. Last year it was scheduled in the fall as a sprint for 2-year-olds, but the race was canceled when not enough horses were entered.

But as Lost in the Fog, based in northern California with trainer Greg Gilchrist, has become the country's top 3-year-old sprinter, Golden Gate officials saw an opportunity to lure the horse back home. Golden Gate didn't release its stakes schedule until Saturday, but Gilchrist knew about the race even before Lost in the Fog won the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct on Saturday. After the Bay Shore, Gilchrist said he was going to run Lost in the Fog in a May 14 race at Golden Gate.

"Can you imagine that that came up?" he said with a laugh in a conference call after the Bay Shore.

Neither Golden Gate Fields general manager Peter Tunney nor racing secretary Sean Greely would say the race was written specifically to attract Lost in the Fog. When asked on Saturday about the chances of attracting Lost in the Fog to the race, Tunney said, "Wouldn't it be fortunate if all the stars and moon aligned so that he'd run?"

Tunney said Golden Gate scheduled the Golden Bear because it was one of the track's traditional stakes races.

"The thought was, and it was unrelated to Lost in the Fog, that we wanted to go back to our historical races," Tunney said.

But Tunney and Greely clearly recognized that the race was an opportunity to keep Lost in the Fog at home.

"We know he has quite a following," Tunney said. "The timing is right."

The purse for the Golden Bear is $100,000 plus $50,000 in Breeders' Cup money. Lost in the Fog is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup, but the Breeders' Cup money could entice some runners to test him. For Gilchrist, running for only $100,000 is offset by not having to ship Lost in the Fog across the country again.

"We can stay at home to do it," he said.

Lost in the Fog has won four stakes, including the Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream, since winning his debut at Golden Gate Fields last Nov. 14. He has earned a Beyer Figure of over 100 in each of his races, including a 105 in the Bay Shore.

South American horses threaten

El Prado's Boy takes on two former South American runners in a one-mile $50,000 optional claimer on the turf Wednesday, when a $23,950 pick six carryover is on the line.

Millenaire, a Grade 2 winner at the distance in his native Brazil, made his U.S. debut against similar at Golden Gate Fields last November and faded to eighth after battling on the pace for six furlongs. He is 0 for 4 since coming here, but his past two starts against better at Santa Anita have been strong, and he has worked well since then.

Senor Pocket will make his U.S. debut for trainer Paulo Lobo after winning seven of 16 starts in his native Chile. His last race came seven months ago, when he won a $12,500 stakes race as the favorite. He has rattled off six strong works, including a 1:12 six-furlong drill.

Trained by Steve Miyadi, who sent out First Draft to win Saturday's Miss America Handicap, El Prado's Boy has won three straight, two on turf and a first-level allowance race on the main track in his last start. He has good speed but will be content to stalk My Onomatopoeia, who has won two straight but will be making his turf debut.

* Fourteen 3-year-old fillies were nominated to Saturday's $55,000-added Bay Meadows Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Among the nominees are Private Banking, who won both her starts in her native France last year and would be making her U.S. debut for trainer Ron McAnally, and Irish-bred Three Degrees, who won her maiden in her U.S. debut for trainer Patrick Gallagher.

* The San Mateo Planning Commission, which recently rejected development plans for Bay Meadows, scheduled another meeting on the project Tuesday. Long-range plans for the 83.5 acres of land include construction of 1,250 homes, 1.2 million square feet of office space, and 150,000 square feet of retail development.