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Malibu Stakes day
Lost in the Fog and jockey Russell Baze get congratulations from trainer Greg Gilchrist after winning the Kings Bishop on Travers day.
There were three additional graded stakes on the Travers undercard. The Grade 1 King's Bishop featured the top 3-year-old sprinters in the country going for a $250,000 purse, with the undefeated Lost In The Fog shipping in from his Northern California base. As expected, he was bet down to 3-10 favoritism in the field of seven.
It was just another day at the office for Lost in the Fog, as regular rider Russell Baze hustled him to the front right away after being bumped at the start, keeping the stalking 20-1 shot Fusaichi Rock Star at bay through blistering fractions of 22.09 and 44.61 down the backstretch. Turning for home, Fusaichi Rock Star dropped out of contention, leaving Lost In the Fog with an insurmountable 5 1/2-length lead with a furlong to go. 10-1 third choice Social Probation made a late rally from last to get up for second, but was no match for the favorite, as Lost in the Fog cruised under the wire 4 3/4 lengths in front under wraps, completing the 7 furlongs in 1:22.56 over the fast track. It was 3/4 length back from Social Probation to 24-1 longest shot Better Than Bonds third. Jockey Calvin Borel aboard Social Probation claimed foul against Baze and Lost in the Fog for interference at the start but the claim was disallowed by the stewards.
Results Chart from DRF
Lost in the Fog in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Greg Gilchrist said, "It always seems like there is other speed in the race, but when they kick it, he's always in front. I sure like seeing those orange silks (on the lead) and when Russell (Baze) is looking between his legs when he's three in front - that's an even better feeling. This is the first Grade 1 I've ever won, and it's a great feeling. People need to realize he shipped across the (country) six times now, not to count a 14-hour van ride to Phoenix and back. To keep putting on these kind of performances, it just takes a special horse to do that. I think his chances of being at Belmont Park a couple of months from now are very good." Gilchrist is considering training straight up to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, or use a race against older horses in California as his final prep.
Lost in the Fog in the post parade. Winning rider Russell Baze said, "The race set up pretty much the way we thought it would. This horse has handled so many tracks, that I didn't see the track being a big factor. He was getting tired inside the 1/16 pole. There are very few horses that can go with this horse for the first half-mile. He runs the second quarter as fast, if not faster, than the first quarter and he can finish from there. He's an exceptional animal, and it is really going to take an exceptional animal to beat him. A couple of guys have said he hasn't met the best, but we've taken on all comers and he's handled them pretty nicely."
A short field of just five juvenile colts met up in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, with Henny Hughes sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the $250,000 event off his 3-for-3 record in his career, including the Grade 2 Saratoga Special last out. 2-1 second choice First Samurai came into this 7-furlong event with a 2-for-2 record and was making his stakes debut.
6-1 shot Too Much Bling grabbed the early lead and was stalked down the backstretch by First Samurai through a quarter in 22.22 and a half in 44.81, as Henny Hughes settled in behind them in third. Around the turn, Gary Stevens asked Henny Hughes for a wide rally, but through the lane, he flattened out, but was able to pass the tiring Too Much Bling to get second by a length. First Samurai lugged in during the stretch run but drew away to win by 4 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:23.25.
Results Chart from DRF
First Samurai in the winner's circle with trainer Frank Brothers. Brothers, winning his first Hopeful, said, "He's still pretty green, but any time you win a Grade 1 in Saratoga, it's pretty good. I felt good going into the race, but I knew with Henny Hughes in the race that it was going to be tough. I had things my own way, and I was very happy with the way he finished." Brothers said he may go next in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland or remain in New York. Jockey Jerry Bailey, winning his sixth Hopeful, said, "He shook loose at the top of the stretch, but that was the second time he lugged in. But he's young, and we hope it's just a learning process. He has shown he has a lot of room for improvement, especially if he cuts out the two-year-old stuff. But he is very unique, and part of the reason is because he has a whole lot of 1s (victories)."
Second place finisher and beaten favorite Henny Hughes in the post parade. His trainer Patrick Biancone said, "That's racing. There's business yet to take care; it's too soon to talk. I'm not going to talk until after the Travers." His jockey Gary Stevens was just as tight lipped: "I'm not going to talk until I talk to Patrick (Biancone)."
The Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap featured older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course. Just 6 faced the starter in this $200,000 event, with California shipper Leroidesanimaux sent off as the 7-10 favorite off a 6-race winning streak including the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile last time out despite being sidelined since late March.
As expected, jockey John Velazquez sent the favorite to the front right away, setting fractions of 23.23, 47.31, and 1:10.77 with 23-1 shot Hotstufanthensome pressing him from the outside. Turning for home, Hotstufanthensome dropped out of contention allowing the favorite to hold an uncontested lead through the stretch run. 3-1 second choice Silver Tree came on from fourth but was no match for the favorite, as Leroidesanimaux finished 1 1/4 lengths clear in a course record time of 1:39.92 for the 1 1/16 miles over the firm course. It was just a length back to 25-1 longest shot Steel Light in third.
Results Chart from DRF
Leroidesanimaux in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bobby Frankel said, "He's a real nice horse and he tries hard. He likes competition, and when horses come to him, he'll go on by himself. It looked like they were running into the first turn. He's a good horse, and it was just getting him fit. He's been training really well, and he's been ready to run for a while. It's a little late in the year to be trying to go a mile and a half with him, so our objective is the Breeders' Cup Mile." Frankel said he should go next in the Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park.
Leroidesanimaux in the post parade where he looked much the best. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "Dropping the reins down the lane was my anxious moment. Other than that, he was doing it well the whole time. As soon as the other horses came to him, he just kept going. Bobby (Frankel) told me that he would put his head down and fight when other horses come to him. He's very competitive."
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