10/01/2009 12:00AM

Ebbtide one to beat in Schaefer

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As if the $500,000 Indiana Derby is not enough, Hoosier Park's Saturday card will also have three other stakes, making for the largest one-day purse payout ever at the track.

The $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Mile will be run as ninth of the 12 races and will be sandwiched between two divisions of the Hoosier Breeder's Sophomore events for 3-year-olds, one for colts and geldings and one for fillies.

Nine were entered in the Schaefer Mile, including an entry. Ebbtide is a late bloomer who has come into his own for trainer Mike Tomlinson at age 5.

"He has really improved with age," Tomlinson said. "He was a slow learner, but now seems to understand what it is all about."

Ebbtide has run almost exclusively on grass, with his last win coming two starts ago in an Aug. 1 optional claiming race at Ellis Park going 1 1/16 miles over the turf. In his most recent out, he was second on dirt in an allowance sprint here. Tomlinson thought it was a huge race.

"It was an experiment to try him on the dirt again," he said. "He had been running strictly turf this year and the few times he had run on dirt last year were not that great."

Although Ebbtide ran second, Tomlinson felt his charge had an excuse.

"He got stopped on the turn, I mean the jockey literally had to stand up in the saddle and stop his momentum," he said. "It really compromised his chances."

The race encouraged Tomlinson to run Ebbtide in the Schaefer Mile. Calvin Borel will be back on Ride Ebbtide.

"Calvin broke his maiden at Keeneland and he is such a great rider when the money is down," Tomlinson said. "When they called I couldn't refuse."

* In the filly division of the Hoosier Breeder's Sophomore, Trust N Seven is a standout in a field of nine. Trained by Mike Lauer, the Trust N Luck filly has won 5 of 8 races, including four Indiana-bred stakes. She has never won at the 1 1/16-mile distance of this race, however. Two starts back she finished an even fourth going a mile and 70 yards at Presque Isle.

"We took her up to Presque Isle to get her around two turns and see how she liked the synthetic surface," Lauer said. "She handled the distance okay and so I think she will be fine." Leandro Goncalves will ride.

In the other division of the Hoosier Breeder's Sophomore, a full field of 12 will go 1 1/16 miles. Brickyard, trained by Ronny Werner, will try to rebound off a poor showing at Arlington Park on Sept. 7. If the Street Cry colt can return to the form he showed at Aqueduct earlier this year, he will be hard to beat.