05/26/2006 11:00PM

Pisgah, best on dirt, looks vulnerable on turf


Pisgah could be hard-pressed to keep his perfect 2-for-2 record on grass intact in Monday's $100,000 Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

Although Pisgah has proven capable on turf for trainer Scott Lake, the 5-year-old is probably better on the main track. He set a Delaware Park track record by running six furlongs in 1:07.92, earning a career-best 112 Beyer, and posted back-to-back Beyers of 108 and 103 in dirt sprints at that track within a span of 10 days last July.

Pisgah's figures on turf, both earned in optional claimers at Gulfstream Park, are 89 and 92. That puts him on equal terms with several other Turf Monster contenders and leaves him as a potential short-priced underlay in the five-furlong sprint.

Three other horses - Yankee Wildcat, Shades of Sunny, and Summer Service - are just as fast as Pisgah and could offer better value.

Yankee Wildcat and Shades of Sunny are both 8-year-old geldings coming off a victory following a lengthy layoff.

Yankee Wildcat, winner of the restricted Mister Diz at Pimlico in 2004 and 2005, got up by a neck against high-priced optional claimers at Pimlico in his first start since October.

Shades of Sunny, who has recorded 10 of his 11 victories in short turf sprints, was off from October until May 4, when he upset a five-furlong grass stakes at Atlantic City at 9-1. His 2 for 6 record over Philly Park's grass course includes a victory in last year's Robert Camac Memorial.

Shades of Sunny defeated Yankee Wildcat nearly two years ago at Monmouth Park, but finished behind him in two meetings last year at Laurel Park.

Summer Service finished only a neck behind Pisgah two starts ago in Florida despite having to steady twice. His last four turf sprints have fallen in the narrow range between 90 and 94 on the Beyer scale, including a win in an overnight stakes at Calder on Jan. 2.

Around the Cape was projected to be the Turf Monster's strong favorite, but trainer Bill Mott said the horse was more likely to run in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Jaipur Stakes at Belmont Park.