08/01/2005 12:00AM

Artie Schiller gets up just in time

Artie Schiller (left) catches Silver Tree at the wire to score a half-length victory in Monday's Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A determined Artie Schiller needed nearly every inch of the stretch to wear down Silver Tree to win Monday's Grade 2, $147,000 at Saratoga before a crowd of 14,398.

Artie Schiller won the Baruch by a half-length. Silver Tree finished second, 6 1/2 lengths in front of America Live in the five-horse field on turf. The order of finish was completed by Del Mar Show and Seeking Answers. Not Phone, Golden Commander, and Willard Straight were scratched.

Silver Tree, under Jerry Bailey, set a comfortable and uncontested pace over a course listed as good. After carving out fractions of 25.99 seconds, 50.04, 1:12.88, and 1:35.89, Silver Tree looked like he was on his way to victory in the 1 1/8-mile race. But Artie Schiller, who tracked Silver Tree from second position, was gobbling up ground on the outside under Richard Migliore and surged to the lead about 20 yards before the finish.

Artie Schiller, the 2-5 favorite and 122-pound highweight, returned $2.90 and covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.65.

Jimmy Jerkens, Artie Schiller's trainer, noted the final eighth was run in 11.76.

"[Artie Schiller] had to do that; that was a good horse in front that set an easy pace," Jerkens said.

Migliore was aboard Artie Schiller for the first time since Artie Schiller lost as the favorite in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile. Migliore said he was happy that he had a target in Silver Tree on Monday, rather than having to send Artie Schiller to the lead.

"When he is by himself, he gawks a bit," Migliore said.

The win was Artie Schiller's ninth in 17 starts and boosted his earnings to $880,853.