09/19/2007 11:00PM

Good Night Shirt has yet to disappoint

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - To hear trainer Jack Fisher tell it, his 6-year-old gelding Good Night Shirt has been full of surprises.

Fisher hopes to continue to be pleasantly surprised Saturday when Good Night Shirt takes on Mixed Up and seven others in the Grade 1, $150,000 Lonesome Glory Steeplechase at Belmont Park. The Lonesome Glory, carded at 2 1/2 miles and contested over 10 national fences, serves as a stepping-stone to the $300,000 Grand National Breeders' Cup Steeplechase on Oct. 20 at Far Hills, N.J.

Good Night Shirt, a son of Concern, has been first or second in each of his last four starts, including a victory in the Grade 1 Iroquois going three miles in Nashville on May 12. Among the horses he beat that day was four-time Breeders' Cup winner McDynamo and Sur La Tete. Prior to that, Good Night Shirt was beaten a neck by Mixed Up in the Royal Chase at Keeneland.

"I thought going into the Royal Chase I was a little bit short to be honest with you, then he runs in the Iroquois and he beats two of the best jumpers in training,'' Fisher said. "To me, he's always been an overachiever; I didn't think he was that good. He's always exceeded our expectations.''

Fisher said he purposely gave Good Night Shirt the summer off in order to have a fresh horse for the fall. He said he wasn't even aware this race existed until late July, but decided to point to it as a prep for the Breeders' Cup.

Fisher said he believes Good Night Shirt may be a short horse again, but added, "I think he'll like the distance. I think he ought to run well.''

Mixed Up, who won the Royal Chase and the A.P. Smithwick, had too much to overcome in the New York Turf Writers Handicap. He had to carry 162 pounds on a 90-degree day and was spotting nearly 30 pounds to the winner, Footlights. Saturday, Mixed Up carries high weight of 158 pounds, but the temperatures should be slightly cooler.

Orision comes off a fourth-place finish in the Smithwick. Trainer Paul Fout said the horse was battling ulcers leading up to that race.

"He tired to colic on us and he had the ulcers, but I think we have it all taken care of,'' Fout said. "He should show huge improvement.''