Carthage crashed Lost in the Fog's welcome back party. The former claimer defeated last year's champion sprinter by three lengths Saturday in the $100,000 Oakland Tribune
Golden Gate Fields Sprint.
Carthage, who won his fourth consecutive race for trainer Art Sherman, made the most of an eight-pound weight break in the six-furlong stakes, created as a showcase for local hero Lost in the Fog. It was only the second loss in Lost in the Fog's 12-race career, after he finished seventh in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint in his last start. 'Foggy' had just three rivals while carrying 125 pounds in his comeback race Saturday.
"As I said before, this was not going to be his best race," trainer Greg Gilchrist said afterward. "He just got outrun today. We'll start all over again. But you've got to take your hat off to the winner. We look forward to a rematch."
That may come June 4, across the bay in the $125,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint. Both horses are tentatively pointing to that stakes.
A crowd of 6,303 turned out to Golden Gate Fields for Lost in the Fog bobbleheads and to celebrate the 2006 debut of the popular 4-year-old bay. Jockey Russell Baze felt confident aboard Lost in the Fog until the turn for home.
"He still has that brilliant speed," Baze said. "He was tugging me to the lead. I had a ton of horse down the backside, and everything was fine until the turn. When he switched leads, the track came away from him. He was slipping on the turn, and that's when the other horse got the jump on him.
"I wish we could have won it," he added, "but at least we got a race into him."
With Dennis Carr aboard, Carthage, breaking from the rail, challenged Lost in the Fog immediately out of the gate. Lost in the Fog retook the lead briefly at the three-eighths pole before Carthage gained command in mid-turn and steadily pulled away.
With lively early fractions of :21.35 and :43.71, Carthage completed the six furlongs in 1:09.08 and paid $4.80 and 2.10. Lost in the Fog returned $2.10 for the place. There was no show wagering. Elegant Ice and Twentythreejaybird completed the order of finish.
Owned by Sherman in partnership with Phil Baneth and Tony Vitone, Carthage is a 6-year-old gelding by Smoke Glacken
. Alan Sherman, Art's son and assistant, saddled the winner for his father. Carthage, who was claimed for $32,000 at Del Mar in September 2004, has won eight of 17 races in his career. Saturday's win, worth $55,000, increased his earnings to $240,185.
"I think we're going to have some fun with this horse," said Art Sherman, who watched from Santa Anita where he saddled third-place finisher Siren Lure in the San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT). "I'm going to look around the country and maybe we'll do some traveling."