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'Fog Clearly Wins Again

June 12, 2005|Bill Christine | Times Staff Writer

ELMONT, N.Y. — Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin might have finished second with Egg Head, 1 1/4 lengths behind unbeaten Lost In The Fog, in Saturday's $170,000 Riva Ridge Stakes, but he's not aching for a rematch.

McLaughlin and his jockey, Richard Migliore, stood next to the winner's circle and briefly discussed the seven-furlong race, which was part of the Belmont Stakes undercard.

"We need to go anyplace where Lost In The Fog isn't going," McLaughlin said. "Then we'll be all right."

Lost In The Fog, the Golden Gate Fields-based 3-year-old, won for the seventh time, and had to fight for the first time. His previous wins were by anywhere between 4 1/4 and 14 3/4 lengths.

"We came at him in relays," Migliore said, "and he just kept finding [more]."

Harry Aleo, an 85-year-old San Franciscan who has turned down multimillion-dollar offers for Lost In The Fog, said he was nervous when Egg Head fought his colt through the stretch.

"I was sweating a bit," said Aleo, who shattered the formality of the paddock by wearing a straw cowboy hat. "But we knew this was going to be a tough race. There were a lot of stakes winners in there."

Greg Gilchrist, who trains Lost In the Fog for Aleo, said he knew a challenge was ahead when they drew the No. 2 post.

"He had a target on his back, and they gave him three or four challenges," Gilchrist said of Lost in the Fog. "He just doesn't want to get beat, and he makes the other horses pay for trying to catch him."

Lost In The Fog was ridden for the first time by Edgar Prado, a replacement for Russell Baze, who broke a collarbone in a spill at Golden Gate on Wednesday.

Prado said he wasn't worried about Egg Head.

"In the stretch, I hit my horse once, and then again, and he hit another gear," he said.

As usual, Lost In The Fog broke sharply. He set fast fractions of :22 1/5 , :44 2/5 and 1:08 3/5 before coming home in 1:21 2/5 .

Gilchrist said that Lost In The Fog's next races were likely to be the Carry Back, at Calder in South Florida in a month, and in the King's Bishop at Saratoga later in the summer.

"I have no doubts that he'll be tough up to a mile," Gilchrist said. "Beyond that distance I'd just be guessing."

Aleo, who said he would like to run Lost In The Fog in the Breeders' Cup Sprint here in October, said that the horse wasn't nominated and would require a $90,000 payment to be eligible.

Lost In The Fog paid $2.80. Egg Ahead finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Middle Earth. After them came Survivalist, Proud Accolade, Going Wild, War Plan and Tani Maru.


In other stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, Good Reward won the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap, with Relaxed Gesture second and Artie Schiller third; Limehouse won the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap; Sand Springs won the $300,000 Emirates Airline Just A Game Stakes; Woke Up Dreamin, ridden by Mike Smith for owner Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert, won the $200,000 True North; and Madonna Lily, after the disqualification of Judy Soda, won the $70,000 White Carnation.

Trainer Shug McGaughey sent out the 14-1 shot Good Reward in the Manhattan. Ridden by Jerry Bailey, Good Reward hadn't won since taking the Hollywood Derby in November. Artie Schiller had finished ahead of him twice since then.

Favored Gygistar was second in the Brooklyn. Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, finished fifth and was moved up to fourth after the disqualification of Cuba, the third-place finisher under Norberto Arroyo Jr. Funny Cide has won three of 12 starts in 2004-05.

"I'm not happy," said Barclay Tagg, who trains Funny Cide. "He was running well, and then I saw [jockey Jose Santos] pull back. My horse [nearly] fell down."

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