Lost in the Fog possessed the heart of a lion.
He was one of the horses that remind you of what racing was like in the days long past. Those days in which horses traveled far and often and fans flocked to every racetrack just to get a glimpse of them. Everyone wanted a piece of Lost in the Fog.
The gorgeous dark bay son of Lost Soldier was a brilliant sprinter. His maiden debut at Golden Gate foreshadowed what racing fans would see throughout the rest of his career - he crossed the wire FAR ahead of his foes.
He must have decided that he loved the feeling of winning, as he reeled off ten consecutive victories in 2004 and 2005. He zigzagged across the country, winning stakes races at Turf Paradise, Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct, Bay Meadows, Calder, Belmont, and Saratoga. He was the favorite every time he ran.
His win in the King's Bishop (G1) was extra special being that it is one of the most prestigious sprint races in the country and was the first Grade 1 win for his trainer Greg Gilchrist. Lost in the Fog's owner Harry Aleo received many seven-figure offers to purchase the colt, but refused them all. Aleo waited his entire life for a horse like this and wasn't willing to part with him.
Lost in the Fog's first loss occurred when he finished out of the money in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) as the race's heavy favorite. Despite the loss in the Breeders' Cup, Lost in the Fog was clearly the best sprinter of the year and was given the Eclipse Award for Champion Sprinter.
No one knew it at the time, but sad days were on the horizon.
Lost in the Fog returned to the races in April 2006 with a second-place finish in a stakes race at Golden Gate. He then traveled to Churchill Downs in Kentucky for the first time to win the Aristides (G3) by one length. It wasn't the open margins he had been winning with before, but it was a win nonetheless.
Lost in the Fog ran one of the most uncharacteristic performances of his life when he finished 9th in the Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) at Calder. It is a race his trainer said he will never forgive himself for running Lost in the Fog in.
It became clear soon after the loss that something just wasn't right with Lost in the Fog. One morning, Greg Gilchrist noticed that his horse was acting strange in his stall and took him to the UC Davis' Large Animal Clinic for an examination.
Gilchrist feared that his beloved horse was colicing, but the examination revealed something much worse; Lost in the Fog was suffering from large, inoperable tumors in his spleen. Equine cancer is a rarity - the discovery was both tragic and shocking.
Veterinarians said he could have been suffering for as long as one year or as short as just four months. He could have had cancer as far back as the Breeders' Cup and even won a graded stakes race while battling the disease.
Euthanasia was recommended, but Gilchrist knew that the horse still had a few good days left and took him back to Golden Gate. He was put on medication to try to shrink the tumors for surgery, but nothing was successful. Lost in the Fog was showered with love and affection for an entire month and Greg's office at the racetrack was flooded with flowers, apples, and carrots from his adoring fans around the world.
Lost in the Fog's owner Harry Aleo said that it was almost impossible to tell that the horse was ill. He looked so healthy on the outside and was always in good spirits, but was hurting on the inside. Lost in the Fog seemed his same old self even one week before his passing...
But one day after grazing, Lost in the Fog became distressed. He was ready to say goodbye.
Lost in the Fog was euthanized on September 17, 2006 and was buried at Golden Gate. "It was all about giving him quality (time). We did everything we could for him," Greg Gilchrist told BloodHorse. "He was happy and content right up to the end. He went quietly and easily."
"It was very emotional," said Gilchrist. "I probably won't ever get over it. I always said when it got too bad, Lost in the Fog would let me know. I think he did yesterday. If he was a person, he would have said, 'It's time.'"
"Foggy" was only in this world for a short amount of time, but the impact he made on the people around him was tremendous. He took his connections to the sport's highest level and his breeder Susan Seper even received the 2005 Needles Award, "as the Florida small breeder who had made the most outstanding contribution to the Florida Thoroughbred industry. Another Lost in the Fog connection, Kelli Mitchell, was honored with the Joe O'Farrell Memorial Award as the original consignor of the year's best graduate of a Florida public auction." (American Classic Pedigrees).
Lost in the Fog left this world much too soon, but the memory of his heart and brilliance will live on for all time.
This post was originally written and published on our Facebook page in 2020.
[Video: Watch ESPN's coverage of Lost in the Fog's win in the King's Bishop (G1)]
About: Champions of the Track works to create new fans of horse racing through entertaining, engaging, and educational content. Made by fans of horse racing, for fans of horse racing. Powered by KPB Media.