05/17/2006 12:00AM

Artie Schiller vs. Better Talk Now in Dixie Stakes


BALTIMORE - The Preakness won't be the only race worth watching Saturday at Pimlico. In fact, eight other stakes, five of them graded, also are carded on a blockbuster 13-race program that was drawn Wednesday afternoon.

The richest of the supporting events, the $250,000 Dixie Stakes, drew a matchup of Breeders' Cup champions: , winner of the 2004 BC Turf. They are among a field of seven older horses entered in the Grade 2 Dixie, which is carded as the 10th race.

Shake the Bank, the designated "rabbit" for stablemate Better Talk Now, is also in the 1 1/8-mile Dixie. The others in the race are Dreadnaught, Dr Detroit, Sabre d'Argent, and Rebel Rebel.

The other stakes on Saturday at Pimlico:

* The Grade 3, $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap (race 11). Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, drew the outside post in a field of seven older horses for the 1 1/8-mile Schaefer. Although Funny Cide also is entered in the Pimlico Special on Friday, trainer Barclay Tagg said Wednesday he expects to scratch the 6-year-old gelding from the Special and run in the Schaefer.

Master Command, Andromeda's Hero, and Water Cannon are among the others entered.

* The Grade 3, $200,000 Maryland BC Sprint Handicap (race 9). Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who won this six-furlong race last year with Willy o' the Valley, has another strong contender this year in Kazoo, a hard-

hitting gelding who in his last two starts won the Toboggan at Aqueduct and ran second in the Commonwealth BC at Keeneland. Kazoo will spot his rivals from four to nine pounds and carry high weight of 120.

Other top threats in a field of seven include Crafty Schemer, Gaff, and Friendly Island.

* The $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes (race 8). Ah Day, withdrawn from Preakness consideration Wednesday morning by trainer King Leatherbury, drew post 2 in a field of seven 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton. Little Cliff and High Cotton, both of whom were tried and failed earlier this year along the Triple Crown trail, also are in the lineup.

* The Grade 3, $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (race 7). With easily the largest field of the Preakness Day stakes, the Gallorette, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that drew 14 fillies and mares, figures as the best betting race of the day. Four horses who were scratched Wednesday when the Thirty Flags was transferred from the turf to the main track at Belmont - Ozone Bere, Laurafina, Zona, and Thetactics Ofdance - are among the principals in a cast that also includes graded winner My Typhoon.

* The Grade 3, $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (race 6). Songster, with Edgar Prado riding for trainer Tom Albertrani, figures as a solid favorite over Urban Guy and My Dynomite in a field of eight 3-year-olds in this six-furlong race. Songster most recently finished second to Too Much Bling in the Grade 3 Bay Shore on the April 8 Wood Memorial undercard at Aqueduct.

* The $100,000 Baltimore BC Turf Sprint (race 5). Procreate and Southern Missile, an uncoupled duo trained by Scott Lake, both look tough in a field of nine in this five-furlong turf dash. Abbondanza, an earner of nearly $375,000 from 23 dirt starts, will draw intrigue when making his grass debut.

* The $50,000 Murmur Farm Starter handicap (race 4). Twelve older horses were entered in the Murmur Farm, the first stakes on the card. The other four races on the Saturday card are allowances with a minimum purse of $44,800.