06/10/2009 11:00PM

Mason sends pair in Lost in the Fog


When trainer Lloyd Mason returned from a trip to Argentina, he was pleased and disappointed when he saw a tape of a May 25 maiden race at Golden Gate Fields. Mason was pleased that his trainees Erin's Cajun and Hetch ran one-two, but disappointed with the ride Hetch got, opening a big lead early only to be run down late by his stablemate.

He'd be satisfied with the same result Saturday at Golden Gate Fields as Erin's Cajun and Hetch return in the $75,000 Lost in the Fog, a five-furlong race that is Northern California's first 2-year-old stakes of the year.

"I didn't like it when he opened up so far," Mason said of Hetch.

"He's kind of small but has a lot of speed."

Of Erin's Cajun he said, "The other horse did everything right. He's bred to be a good one."

Erin's Cajun and Hetch drew the outside posts in the 10-horse field, which includes Cahill Country, third behind the stablemates in their debut, and the winners Smiling Tiger, Sweet Tigger, Empire of the Sun, and Little Bud Bud.

Hetch probably won't open a three-length lead in the opening quarter, like he did last time, with the presence of Little Bud Bud, Smiling Tiger and Sweet Tigger. The outside post could help Hetch early with the other speed inside him, but he'll have to get over quickly.

Erin's Cajun was fourth at the quarter pole in his victory, but he unleashed a strong kick to win by 1o1/2 lengths. He'll only be helped by the additional distance he'll run Saturday.

"He acts like an older horse," said Mason. "He's very confident and does everything right. He doesn't get nervous. He's very professional."

Smiling Tiger and Cahill Country are both trained by Jeff Bonde. Smiling Tiger was a wire-to-wire winner in his debut and has worked nicely since that race, with a five-furlong bullet drill at Pleasanton and a half-mile move at Golden Gate. The 3-2 favorite in his debut, Smiling Tiger pulled away from his rivals under Russell Baze, who rides again Saturday.

Sweet Tigger, sent north after graduating at Saturday's distance at Hollywood Park, should be a pace factor. He's also the lone entrant to have competed at the distance.