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End Is Near for Lost In The Fog

Times Staff Writers

Lost In The Fog, the Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s top sprinter last year, has inoperable cancer and will be euthanized after what will amount to an extended farewell, the thoroughbred’s trainer and his veterinarian said Friday.

“We know the end is inevitable, and we certainly don’t want the horse to go through more than he needs to, but if he can have another week, 10 days, two weeks,” said Greg Gilchrist, trainer of the popular Northern California horse who won his first 10 races before losing in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year.

“I think we’ll bring him back to Golden Gate Fields, put him in his own stall, get him cleaned up and pamper him for 10 days,” Gilchrist said.

Veterinarians discovered a cantaloupe-sized tumor in the 4-year-old horse’s spleen this week and had tentatively scheduled surgery for next week. But an exploratory procedure Friday at UC Davis identified two more tumors, including a football-sized tumor near his spine.

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“Unfortunately that is not one that could be removed surgically,” said Don Smith, Lost In The Fog’s longtime veterinarian. “The Fog has not really been suffering any severe pain so far,” he said.

Smith, who described the cancer as very rare, said the horse probably has been ill for perhaps four months to a year. Though the cancer now seems a plausible explanation for Lost In The Fog’s ninth-place finish in the Smile Sprint Handicap last month at Calder Race Course in Miami and perhaps others among the three losses in his final four races, Gilchrist said the horse began exhibiting symptoms only recently.

“I started noticing a little change in the horse maybe a week to 10 days ago,” he said. “It was certainly nothing earth-shaking. It wasn’t like he was down and rolling and had a bad case of colic.

“He’s such a tough horse. He never showed anything.”

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Owned by Harry Aleo, Lost In The Fog won 11 races in 14 starts, earning $978,099, and was soon to be retired to stud.

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Jockey Russell Baze, who’d won on his final two mounts Thursday, ran his winning streak to nine Friday when he won with all seven of his mounts on the card at the Bay Meadows Fair in San Mateo.

Baze won Friday with Real Lift in the first race, Dons Champion in the second, Lemaire in the third, One Of A Kind in the fourth, Tami’s Gold Bar in the fifth, Gold Bankers Gold in the seventh and Underhill in the eighth. He did not ride in the sixth.

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