Lost in the Fog won't be the only undefeated favorite in the Breeders' Cup -- three others will likely join the sensational 3-year-old colt with top billing on thoroughbred racing's biggest day.
First Samurai, Lost in the Fog and Shakespeare come into their Breeders' Cup races Saturday at Belmont Park with perfect records, while Leroidesanimaux has won all three of his starts this year. Combined, the fearsome foursome is 22 for 22 in 2005.
Add four returning champions in Ashado, Better Talk Now, Ouija Board and Singletary, plus a wide-open field for the Classic headed by Saint Liam, and the 22nd edition of the Breeders' Cup just may overcome the absence of many of racing's stars.
"I'm not sure we've ever had a stronger group of horses from top to bottom," Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr. said after Wednesday's post-position draw.
The Classic may have the largest purse at $4,680,000, but it's missing Afleet Alex, Giacomo, Ghostzapper and Roses in May, who are either injured or retired. Woodward winner Saint Liam is the 3-1 morning-line favorite, with Goodwood Handicap winner Rock Hard Ten at 7-2 and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Borrego 9-2 in a full field of 14.
"I think it's a very solid field, there are a lot of standouts," Borrego trainer Beau Greely said.
Going into the eight-race, $15 million card, though, it's the undefeateds who stand front and center.
Lost in the Fog is the even-money choice for the $1 million Sprint, where he will attempt to run his winning streak to 11. The colt will leave from the No. 7 post against 10 rivals as he bids for a perfect season and possible top 3-year-old and Horse of the Year honors.
"We're ready to go," Lost in the Fog trainer Greg Gilchrist said. "We're fine with the post, it's the middle of the pack."
First Samuari, 4 for 4 and coming off an impressive win in the Champagne at Belmont on Oct. 8, is the 8-5 choice for the Juvenile; Shakespeare, 5 for 5 after a win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont on Oct. 1, is the 3-1 pick for the Turf; and Leroidesanimaux is 7-5 to take the Mile.
"The Champagne was his best race, he had a nice workout Saturday, we hope he has a good week here and goes out there and runs well," First Samurai trainer Frank Brothers said.
Bobby Frankel trains Leroidesanimaux, winner of the Atto Mile at Woodbine in his last start, and Bill Mott handles Shakespeare, who won the 11/2-mile Turf Classic at Belmont on Oct. 10.