160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week NEW YORK — An exceptional 3-year-old colt will be running in the Breeders’ Cup next weekend at Belmont Park. His name isn’t Afleet Alex, he hasn’t won the Kentucky Derby and he won’t be competing in the marquee race, the $4 million Classic. Meet Lost in the Fog, the undefeated sprinter extraordinaire making a mad dash into racing history and a run at Horse of the Year honors. Lost in the Fog, a perfect 10 for 10 — including eight victories at seven tracks this year — will be a strong favorite in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint, one of eight races totaling $14 million in purses. The Classic will feature several Horse of the Year contenders, including Saint Liam and Rock Hard Ten. Afleet Alex, despite being sidelined with an injury after winning the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, is a leading candidate as well. But don’t count out Lost in the Fog, who looms six furlongs away from a chance to claim three Eclipse Awards — top sprinter, top 3-year-old and Horse of the Year. ‘‘I think there’s all kinds of possibilities,” Greg Gilchrist, the colt’s trainer, said this week on a conference call. ‘‘I can talk to you all I want, but I prefer to let the horse do the talking, and you all can make up your own minds after that.” The Classic has a way of determining Horse of the Year, but if the favorites fail, year-end voting by turf writers and track officials could be interesting. ‘‘Basically, in my eyes, it comes down to Afleet Alex and whoever wins the Classic,” trainer Todd Pletcher began before correcting his omission: ‘‘Lost in the Fog. I left him out. If he were to win the Sprint, I think he puts himself in position to make a strong case for not only Horse of the Year, but champion 3-year-old.” Lost in the Fog isn’t the only ‘‘outsider” with a shot. There’s rising 2-year-old star First Samurai, looking to go 5 for 5 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and even Shakespeare, a 4-year-old colt with a 5-for-5 career record entering the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Turf. History says sprint specialists don’t win racing’s top award, and it’s rare when 2-year olds or turf horses do. But it can happen this year under the right circumstances. ‘‘It’ll depend a lot on the way things play out with the other races,” Gilchrist said. ‘‘I certainly think that if we would go on and win on the 29th that we have to be considered.” Jerry Bailey, who will be aboard First Samurai, Saint Liam and Shakespeare, was diplomatic in his analysis. ‘‘If any of the favorites win the Classic, they probably deserve it,” the Hall of Fame rider said. ‘‘First Samurai? He’s undefeated so if he wins the Juvenile impressively, then why not? If Lost in the Fog wins and the others get knocked off, he’s got a chance. Shakespeare’s undefeated, and even though he’s a turf horse, if he wins and everyone else gets knocked off — he has a chance, too.” The debate will continue through the Classic, so now is a good time to examine a few resumes. Saint Liam: Considered the leading contender despite a not-so-stellar record of three victories in five starts in ’05, including an easy win in the Woodward Stakes last month. The son of Saint Ballado began his 5-year-old campaign by winning the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park, then finished sixth behind Rock Hard Ten in the Santa Anita Handicap, won the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs and was a neck short of catching Commentator in the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga. Rock Hard Ten: Unbeaten in four starts — three this year –since Richard Mandella took over as trainer. The strapping 4-year-old colt won the Strub Stakes and the Santa Anita Handicap before a series of ailments kept him sidelined for nearly seven months. His return was another victory, in the Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap under Gary Stevens. Borrego: Despite coming into the Classic off $1 million victories in the Pacific Classic and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, trainer Beau Greely’s 4-year-old colt is a long shot at best. Before those wins, Borrego had won just one of five starts this year. Lost in the Fog: The colt is based in Northern California but has won everywhere — three times in Florida, three times in New York (at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga), and twice in California (at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields). He’s won the Grade 1 King’s Bishop and three Grade 2’s — the Swale, the Riva Ridge and the Carry Back –and his average margin of victory this year is 5 1/2 lengths. The knock on Lost in the Fog is he’s strictly a sprinter — he’s never run farther than seven furlongs — and he hasn’t faced quality opponents. The competitive question will be answered next Saturday. Among his challengers are top sprinters Pomeroy and Taste of Paradise, as well as several horses turning back in distance, Roman Ruler, High Fly and Imperialism. First Samurai: The son of Giant’s Causeway won his first four starts by a combined 18 1/2 lengths, including two wins over his chief rival in the Juvenile, Henny Hughes. First Samurai handed Henny Hughes his first loss in the Hopeful at Saratoga, and did it again with a 2 3/4-length win in the Champagne. Shakespeare: After a 16-month layoff with a knee injury, Shakespeare has won three consecutive races, including the 1 1/2-mile Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont three weeks ago. His best chance is to win and have all the other contenders lose. Afleet Alex: Built up the strongest resume so far with a stellar 3-year-old campaign. After overcoming a lung infection and finishing last in the Rebel Stakes, the colt won the Arkansas Derby, finished third — a length behind Giacomo –in the Kentucky Derby and then won the Preakness after almost being knocked to his knees by another horse and the Belmont.