06/09/2005 12:00AM

Prado pinch-hits on 'Fog'


ELMONT, N.Y. - Once trainer Greg Gilchrist and owner Harry Aleo decided this spring to bypass the allure of the Triple Crown to focus strictly on sprints for Lost in the Fog, the Breeders' Cup Sprint became the ultimate year-end goal. Saturday, Lost in the Fog will get a dress rehearsal.

Although the Grade 2, $200,000 Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup is at seven furlongs, a furlong farther than the Breeders' Cup Sprint, it is at Belmont Park, where the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be held Oct. 29. So, Lost in the Fog has made his fourth cross-country trip of the year from his base at Golden Gate Fields in northern California. A little more than two hours before the Triple Crown comes to a close in the Belmont Stakes, Lost in the Fog will put his unbeaten record in the line when he faces seven rivals in the Riva Ridge.

has won his six races by a combined 45 3/4 lengths. All those races were with jockey Russell Baze, but when Baze fractured his collarbone in an accident at Golden Gate Fields on Wednesday, Gilchrist was forced to make a change. Thursday morning, he said Edgar Prado would ride Lost in the Fog.

Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog is "a good shipper."

"I think he likes new places," he said.

The travel certainly doesn't appear to have knocked out Lost in the Fog. He has filled out impressively in the past three months, and boasts a robust girth to go along with his powerful hindquarters. He looks fast, and he runs fast, with Beyer Speed Figures ranging from 102 to 110.

"We're not being second-guessed quite so much now about passing the Derby," Gilchrist said. "Actually, we had more people applaud the decision we made rather than criticize it. It has paid off. I'm happy we took this trail."

With his sharp early speed, and an inside post, Lost in the Fog undoubtedly will be sent aggressively from the gate.

There are several other accomplished runners in the Riva Ridge, including stakes winners . Those three, however, all have been below their best in recent outings. The main threat to Lost in the Fog could be Egg Head, who has won his last two starts in fast time at Philadelphia Park and Delaware Park and is making his first start since being privately purchased in part by trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

"He was very fast on the sheets, and his Beyer numbers were high," McLaughlin said. "We thought we would take a shot. He has had two very good works, but he's in tough with Lost in the Fog."

The field

Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup
Purse: $200,000; 7 furlongs; Grade 2

1War PlanJ. Castellano11520-1
2Lost in the FogR. Baze1233-5
3Going WildJ. Bailey12320-1
4SurvivalistJ. Velazquez1238-1
5Middle EarthG. Stevens11512-1
6Egg HeadR. Migliore1194-1
7Proud AccoladeM. Smith1238-1
8Tani MaruJ. Santos11920-1

* Odds by DRF
* Television: Saturday, 3-5:30 p.m. Eastern, ESPN