A dozen willing to challenge 'Fog'
MIAMI -- Reigning Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Lost in the Fog may not have scared away any of the opposition, but the freakishly fast Dubai Escapade obviously did when entries were drawn Monday for Saturday's $1.96 million Summit of Speed program at Calder Race Course.
A surprisingly large field of 13 horses, including Lost in the Fog, passed the entry box for the Grade 2, $500,000 Smile Sprint while only seven fillies and mares, led by the once-beaten Dubai Escapade, will contest the Grade 1, $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap.
The Summit of Speed will also include six other stakes, topped by the Grade 2 Carry Back for 3-year-olds and the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies. Both races offer a purse of $300,000. Also part of the 13-race program, which offers a guaranteed $500,000 all-stakes pick five wager, are the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint, $100,000 Distaff Turf Sprint, the $80,000 Birdonthewire for 2-year-olds, and its filly counterpart, the $80,000 Cassidy Stakes.
Lost in the Fog will carry high weight of 125 pounds in the six-furlong Smile Sprint, one more than he toted to victory in the Grade 3 Artistides BC Handicap on June 3 at Churchill Downs. Lost in the Fog won his first eight starts as a 3-year-old, including the 2005 Carry Back, before concluding his campaign with a seventh-place finish in the BC Sprint.
Among those also shipping to south Florida for the Smile are Kelly's Landing, Friendly Island, Gaff, Joey P., Weigelia, and Gold Storm. They will be joined by a large local contingent, headed by Nightmare Affair, Pomeroy, and Mister Fotis. Other Calder-based contenders include B. B. Best, Universal Form, and Chandtrue.
Lost in the Fog, who drew post 10 for the Smile, arrived at Calder late Saturday and galloped over the track for the first time on Monday morning. Pomeroy and Chandtrue worked in company from the gate, going four furlongs in 48.60 seconds here Monday, while their stablemate Mister Fotis breezed a half-mile from the pole in the same time.
Dubai Escapade has won all five of her starts since she finished fifth on the turf in England at 2 in her first start. The 4-year-old Dubai Escapade worked five furlongs in 59 at Belmont Park on Monday.
"She worked great and is in top shape," said trainer Eoin Harty. "She's really doing fantastic."
Dubai Escapade is scheduled to ship to Florida on Friday. She will carry high weight of 122 pounds and face a group that includes Leave Me Alone, Annika Lass, Hot Storm, Malibu Mint, Ebony Breeze, and Prospective Saint.
Prospective Saint worked four furlongs in 48.20 at Calder on Monday while Annika Lass went the same distance in 50 at Churchill Downs the same morning.
The Carry Back lured a field of nine, headed by California invaders Too Much Bling and Northern Soldier along with Laptop Computer and the locally based group of Mach Ride, Blazing Rate, Yes He's the Man, and Folk Festival.
Victorina, Lost in the Fog's stablemate, is among eight 3-year-old fillies entered for the Azalea.