05/31/2006 11:00PM

No excuses if Fog doesn't fire now

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Vassar Photography
Lost in the Fog won his first 10 races, but comes into Saturday's Aristides Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs following two losses.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Some really fast horses have won the Aristides Breeders' Cup since a onetime claimer named Bet the Pot took the 1989 inaugural. Orientate won the Aristides a few months before winning the BC Sprint to earn the Eclipse Award for top sprinter in 2002, and speedsters such as Beau Genius, Lord Carson, Bet on Sunshine, and Champali also captured the Aristides en route to the BC Sprint.

But never has a reigning sprint champion filled a slot in the Aristides starting gate - until Saturday, that is. Lost in the Fog, the 2005 Eclipse Award winner whose connections have their sights set on another championship, will be a heavy favorite when the $150,000 Aristides is run for the 18th time at Churchill Downs.

The Aristides is the centerpiece of an 11-race card. Two other stakes, the Dogwood BC and Opening Verse, will be grouped with the Aristides and the Texas Glitter overnight handicap in a pick four wager.

, owned by Harry Aleo, opened his career with 10 straight

victories but has lost his last two races coming into the six-furlong Aristides. Trainer Greg Gilchrist said that the colt's defeat in his 4-year-old debut, the April 22 Golden Gate Sprint on his home circuit in northern California, "wasn't completely unexpected," but that he expects Lost in the Fog to fire hard Saturday.

"I did what I could do to get him right" before the Golden Gate race, said Gilchrist. "He's a big, heavy horse, and I could've worked him five more times and he still wouldn't have been any fitter."

Asked whether racing fans might be expecting too much from Lost in the Fog this year, considering his sensational 2005 campaign, Gilchrist said: "Whenever there are records, whenever there are streaks, people are going to be watching. That's human. That's natural."

Lost in the Fog arrived Wednesday evening in Louisville on a Federal Express flight. With Russell Baze to ride, the colt will carry high weight of 124 pounds when facing six rivals Saturday. The most accomplished is , who set the Churchill record for six furlongs winning this race last year.

Trainer Eddie Kenneally shrugged off a recent defeat for Kelly's Landing by saying the 5-year-old gelding was fully prepared to meet Lost in the Fog.

"He's doing very well," said Kenneally. "Very."

The others are Yes Yes Yes, , Exciting Metro, Level Playingfield, and Pro Prado.