07/16/2006 11:00PM

Retirement a possibility for Lost in the Fog


In the wake of Lost in the Fog's ninth-place finish Saturday in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint at Calder, trainer Greg Gilchrist said that he and owner Harry Aleo are giving thought to retiring the colt. Lost in the Fog, the champion sprinter of 2005, will get a rest, Gilchrist said, and a decision on his future will be made when he returns to training.

"We're not leaning one way or the other," he said. "We'll give him time to get his feet underneath him and see how he is. We want to determine if he can be competitive at the level he should be. If it were going to take two or three months to bring him back, and there was only one race left for him this year, we'd probably retire him."

Gilchrist said Lost in the Fog didn't seem to try in the Smile, in which he carried high weight of 125 pounds and was the even-money favorite. Aleo and Gilchrist have said that Lost in the Fog, a 4-year-old by Lost Soldier, would race as both a 4-year-old and 5-year-old, and this is the first time they have questioned that plan.

"You can't put a positive spin on it," Gilchrist said. "It's the first time I've seen him not try. He carried a lot of weight, but that had nothing to do with running that poorly. He's got a lot of problems, things like quarter cracks and bumps and bruises. It's nothing life-threatening or career-ending, but they catch up with him."

Earlier at Calder on Saturday, the Gilchrist-trained Victorina won the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes. Gilchrist said he expected a good race out of Victorina but that he wasn't sure how Lost in the Fog would run.

"There were no surprises for me Saturday," trainer Greg Gilchrist said. "I wasn't surprised she ran well, and it didn't surprise me the other horse didn't."

Lost in the Fog and Victorina, both owned by Aleo, were scheduled to arrive at Golden Gate Fields late Tuesday afternoon.

Victorina earns biggest triumph

The Azalea was Victorina's first graded victory. A 3-year-old filly, she has never been worse than third in eight career starts. She won the $112,000 Meafara at Hawthorne and ran second to Hystericalady in a Bay Meadows allowance race. Then she finished third in the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs before winning the Azalea.

"If you're based in northern California, you got to have one that will ship," said Gilchrist, citing the $300,000 purse of the Azalea. "They run for a $40,000 pot at home."

Gilchrist said he has not decided where Victorina will start next.

"She's not a great big filly," he said. "We'll bring her home and watch her for a week. As she starts doing better, we'll start looking for races. There was a lot of talking about her running in the Test at Saratoga, but that's only 2 1+2 weeks away. That ain't going to work."

Martin wins with Me My Mine

Trainer John Martin also had a split decision in the Claiming Crown races at Canterbury on Saturday, when Me My Mine won the $150,000 Jewel but favored Strong Faith was last in the Tiara.

Martin had just claimed Me My Mine for $40,000 on June 8 for Richard Englander after losing a shake on Me My Mine in his previous start.

"We were looking for a horse to run in the Claiming Crown," Martin said. "When he reappeared for $40,000, we took him."

A 6-year-old gelding, Me My Mine beat odds-on Sinners N Saints by a head. Jockey Roberto Gonzalez picked up his second straight win in the Jewel. He rode Desert Boom to victory last year.

"I wouldn't want anyone else," said Martin, who uses Gonzalez on Strong Faith. "This race set up perfectly for his style of riding. Speed was good all day, and the rail seemed a little deep, so he moved wide in the stretch and finished well."

Strong Faith came out of the Tiara with a throat problem. She has won three stakes and finished fourth in the Grade 3 Yerba Buena since Martin claimed her for $32,000 on Jan. 26.

Big weekend wins for Sherman

There were nothing but highs for Art Sherman last weekend. On Saturday, Vaca City Flyer captured the Vacaville Handicap at the Solano County Fair by seven lengths, and she may be pointed to a turf sprint at Del Mar. On Sunday, Desert Boom won a 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer at Hollywood Park, where unbeaten Declan's Moon went off at 2-5 in his first start in over a year. Last to the stretch in the four-horse field, Desert Boom ($13.40) swung wide under Juan Ochoa and got up to nip Declan's Moon by a nose.

"They're calling me the giant killer," Sherman said. "I didn't think I'd beat him, but everything fell into place. They really challenged him," Sherman said of the three horses who dueled for the lead. "The last 70 yards, he got a little tired. I just told my rider just to sit there, whip him out on the turf for home. We needed to get a race under his belt for the Longacres Mile."