05/15/2005 11:00PM

Lost in the Fog's track-record effort draws good crowd


ALBANY, Calif. - Lost in the Fog's appearance Saturday in the at Golden Gate Fields, which resulted in a record-setting victory, attracted fans to the track as well as attention from the local media.

A total of 6,060 fans were ontrack, up 72 percent from the corresponding Saturday last year (when racing was at Bay Meadows) and 49 percent compared with the average Saturday attendance at the just-concluded Bay Meadows meeting.

Peter Tunney, Golden Gate general manager, said Lost in the Fog created a buzz, and fans and media responded.

"You could feel it in the paddock and in the winner's circle," Tunney said. "It was a great treat."

Lost in the Fog, owned by Harry Aleo and trained by Greg Gilchrist, more than lived up to the prerace hype, setting a track record of 1:07.32 for six furlongs and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 110. The outcome was never in question as Lost in the Fog was in front from the first jump over his two opponents, runner-up Wind Water and third-place finisher Olympic Miler.

His 54.92-second five-furlong fraction was the second fastest in recent track history, topped only by Presidio Heights's 54.91 when he won the six-furlong Danville Handicap by a neck over El Dorado Shooter on March 22, 2003 with a final time of 1:08.11.

El Dorado Shooter had the only other sub-55 fraction here, running 54.98 when he won the Ken Maddy Sprint in 1:08.00 on Feb. 24, 2001.

The Golden Gate track record for five furlongs is 56.12, set by Contradiction on Jan. 1, 2003.

Gilchrist said he gave jockey Russell Baze "two or three scenarios" going into the race, but the basic instruction was to take the lead.

When Wind Water, the only horse who could challenge Lost in the Fog early, broke slowly, the race was over.

Blinkers woke up Chinese Dragon

If Lost in the Fog is the nation's best 3-year-old sprinter, a case can be made that Chinese Dragon, who won Sunday's Alcatraz Breeders' Cup Stakes, is the best 3-year-old turf runner in the country.

Leo Getz ran a perfect race, setting a tepid pace as the lone speed, and made a good move to open up at the quarter pole. But Chinese Dragon had no trouble gunning him down in the lane, running a 22.50-second final quarter in the one-mile race.

"My horse was running strong when he went by us," said Baze, Leo Getz's rider.

Chinese Dragon's trainer, Bob Hess Jr., purchased the colt at the Tattersalls sale last fall in England. Chinese Dragon had soured on racing and was a tough customer to deal with when he got to the United States, Hess said. Hess credited his staff for the turnaround, which began when full-cup blinkers were added.

Jet West returns with win

Also on Sunday, Jet West made his first start since winning the Earlene McCabe Derby at Sacramento last Aug. 29 and beat a solid $80,000 optional claiming field. He will be pointed to the May 28 Ken Maddy Sprint for Cal-breds.

"He's matured so much," regular rider Francisco Duran said of Jet West. "He's just very professional."

Duran said trainer Art Sherman has done an excellent job with Jet West. "He was everything I expected him to be," Duran added.

Rematch likely in Miss America

First Draft, Marla Bay, and Pickle, who finished in a three-way photo in the April 9 Miss America at Bay Meadows, renew their rivalry in Saturday's Grade 3 $100,000 Yerba Buena Breeders Cup Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Pickle won the Grade 3 Wilshire at Hollywood Park on April 23.

Female sprinters are in Sunday's feature, the $55,000 Camilla Russo at six furlongs.

A Lil' Alimony beats colts

Lost in the Fog wasn't Gilchrist's only opening-week winner. He also sent out the filly A Lil' Alimony to beat colts in a $40,000 starter allowance sprint under Macario Rodriguez last Friday.

"It didn't look like an easy race, but they had a filly race that didn't go," said Gilchrist, explaining he instructed rider Macario Rodriguez to send her to the lead.

A Lil' Alimony went wire-to-wire under pressure the whole way. Odds-on favorite Fargoabargain prompted her pace early but bolted on the turn. Swiss Steak tried her next, and Southern Rule made his bid in the lane, but A Lil' Alimony pulled away late to win.

"I thought it was a pretty nice performance," Gilchrist said. "She didn't want to lose. [Rodriguez] did a nice job nursing her along."

A Lil' Alimony is owned by the aptly named First Wives Club, a group of divorced women.

* Yummy Yummy, who won two in a row before running sixth in a Turf Paradise stakes in her last start, heads the field on Wednesday in a $32,000 claimer for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the turf. Smokette and Dramatic Chance, both coming off wins, are among Yummy Yummy's seven rivals, which also include the entry of comebackers Charlenesuperblend and Golden Gatita.