11/10/2005 1:00AM

Lots of speed in Mountaineer Mile

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Presidentialaffair will have to outgun four other speed horses to make the lead in the Mountaineer Mile.

Five of the eight entered in Saturday night's $125,000 Mountaineer Mile for older horses have similar running styles, which could create quite a crowd scrambling for position during the short run into the first turn.

Those who do their best running on the lead include graded stakes winners Presidentialaffair and Cherokee's Boy, horse-for-the-course Discreet Hero, the sharp Finger Lakes shipper Seattle Schifty, and stretch-out sprinter Cherokee Prince.

The likely pacesetter among the front-runners is Presidentialaffair. He has led in his last six races, including the Grade 1 Pimlico Special, where he finished third.

In his last three starts, however, the 6-year-old Presidentialaffair has stopped badly, fading to 11 lengths behind as the even-money favorite in his most recent race, the Maryland Million Classic.

Cherokee's Boy wired the field in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth and he set a track record for 1 1/8 miles at Charles Town last month. He also has displayed the ability to run well after sitting slightly off the pace, which he may have to do here after breaking from post 8. Cherokee's Boy is cross-entered in an overnight stakes on Saturday at Delaware Park.

Discreet Hero is 6 for 8 lifetime at Mountaineer, including a six-length win with a 107 Beyer Speed Figure in the Fall Stakes five weeks ago.

The 3-year-old Seattle Schifty, who has won 4 of his last 5 starts, and Cherokee Prince, a winner of 3 of his 4 most recent races, will both get a class test after primarily racing against allowance runners.

If all the speedballs burn each other out, the best closer in the field is 8-year-old Ask the Lord, who has two wins and a second in three races on Mountaineer's main track. Ask the Lord was entered as a main-track-only runner in a high-priced claiming race at Churchill Downs on Friday.