Harry J. Aleo's Lost in the Fog may not be on the Triple Crown trail, but he affirmed his position as one of the country's most exciting 3-year olds with another facile victory, this time in Saturday's $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
The 3-year-old Florida-bred son of Lost Soldier
has now won four consecutive stakes races after opening his career with a maiden romp at Turf Paradise.
"How could you be unhappy with that," trainer Greg Gilchrist asked rhetorically. "I think he was just the best horse in the race today."
Jockey Russell Baze spent as much time peeking back at the competition – or lack of it – as he did riding Lost in the Fog, who carried top weight of 123 pounds. After shaking off token resistance from Big Top Cat, Baze shook up the 1-9 favorite and gave him a pair of cracks with a right-handed stick as he galloped to the wire 4 1/4 lengths clear of White Socks.
"He ran as good, if not better, than he has run in the past," Baze said. "This horse can go real fast and he does it real easy."
Of the early challenge from Big Top Cat, who nearly reached even terms midway on the far turn, Baze said, "Pretty soon, (he) got discouraged and that was it."
Lost in the Fog completed seven furlongs in 1:21.33, fast but not overwhelming on a day the main track at Aqueduct played fast.
Illustrating the authority of Lost in the Fog's five-race career is that his Bay Shore margin of victory is his narrowest. He has also displayed an ability to race over all types of tracks. He's now won at Aqueduct, Golden Gate, Turf Paradise, and Gulfstream Park. He crushed the field in South Florida's Swale (gr. II) in his previous start.
Gilchrist said the colt would go home to Golden Gate for his next race and is scheduled to next grace New York with his presence in the Riva Ridge (gr. II, June 11) on the Belmont Stakes card.
The trainer said that he came into the Bay Shore concerned with the rail draw after working in the mornings to relax Lost in the Fog. His concerns were quickly allayed.
"To take back today would have been suicide," Gilchrist said. "He just doesn't turn in bad performances. I was a little more concerned with him today. He didn't seem quite as sharp today. But the horse is a real professional."
With the track playing to speed in the previous five races, Lost in the Fog broke from the rail and quickly took to the front. Big Top Cat, a winner only once in five previous starts, gave chase under jockey Victor Espinoza through an opening quarter mile of :22 3/5 and a half of :45.
Runner-up White Socks came to the Bay Shore straight off his February 20 debut victory at Gulfstream, and rallied late on the inside to claim second. Big Top Cat held on for third. Lieutenant Danz, Benjamin Baby, and Soldier's Charge completed the order.
The New York Racing Association did not allow show wagering on the six-horse Bay Shore. Lost in the Fog paid $2.30 and $2.10. White Socks returned $2.10.
The winner earned $90,000.