Lost in the Fog - DVM
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Lost in the Fog
UC-Davis veterinarians battle a rare case of lymphoma; racing icon euthanized in mid Sept.


Gilchrist purchased Lost in the Fog (Lost Soldier-Cloud Break) for 85-year-old owner Harry Aleo, at the Ocala FL 2YO in training sale. "He was born with a lot of ability, that's obvious," Gilchrist said. "He's good-looking, but there are probably better, bigger, more imposing figures than him; but when you put the total horse together, he's just so well balanced. His movements are fluid, there is no wasted action, everything is all going forward. When you work him, it's amazing, he really doesn't look like he's going anywhere until you look at the stopwatch, and you go, 'Wow, he's really going that fast!' "

Lost in the Fog set a Turf Paradise track record at 6 1/2 furlongs as a 2-year-old in his second start, on Dec. 26, 2004, when he won the Arizona Juvenile by 14 3/4 lengths in 1:13.55. As a 3-year-old, Fog set the Golden Gate track record on May 15, 2005, in a 10-length victory in the Golden Bear Stakes in 1:07.32.

During his 3YO campaign, it was both his ability to travel well and perform at an incredible level that really impressed Gilchrist. "It seemed like he really loved it," he says. The objective was "to keep him sound and keep him happy," then he would perform well. It was not easy, when running in as many quality races a horse has to be 100 percent. "When you take a blood count on Fog, I have never trained a horse that carries a blood count (PCV) that he does. It's almost off the charts—it's unbelievable."

After his successful year, Gilchrist sent him to Ocala to languish out the winter for a little R&R, away from the rigors of racing, and a shot of rejuvenation in the Florida sun.

During 2005, Lost in the Fog seemed just that, unbeatable. Early in 2006, a noticeable chink seemed to appear in his armor. In his first outing, at his home Golden Gate Fields, Fog lost by more than three lengths to Carthage. He came back, winning the Aristides at Churchill Downs on June 3. But on July 15, on his return to Calder Racecourse in Miami, he was a badly beaten, finishing ninth.

"It was unusual that although he got bumped a little bit at the start, and though he was running comfortably, half way around the turn I had nothing," Baze stated. "It was just real unusual, even in the Breeder's Cup (October 2005), he got me to the eighth pole, before he ran out of steam that day. It was very unusual for him not to show me any kind of run at all, that early in a race."

Quarter crack problems and foot soreness were thought to be the source of his early 2006 racing setbacks, but his lack of response in the Smile at Calder raised concerns. In early August Gilchrist and Oleo decided to retire him to stud. Once lymphoma was found, it significantly changed the plan.

Lost in the Fog was vanned back to his home stall at Golden Gate Fields, where he spent time with the people who cared for him most — his groomer, trainer and especially his owner, Harry Aleo.

"My heart goes out to Harry," said jockey Russell Baze. "He has to be hurting pretty bad right now. This is a very important animal to him; he really got connected with this horse."

Baze has ridden many incredible horses, with similar victories, but he has a special bond with Lost in the Fog.

"He is a special horse. He was a real easy horse (to ride), he made my job very easy," says Baze.

Fast, yet relaxed is how this Thoroughbred was described.

"He'd be cruising on the lead, maybe going 22 (seconds/quarter-mile), while every other horse would be struggling to go that fast, but he'd just be going along with his ears pricked, doing it very easily," Baze proudly exclaimed.

Horses with his talent, temperament and athleticism, that are able to ship all over the country and run on several different track surfaces, are rare.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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