05/10/2006 11:00PM

Pisgah, Tiger in showdown


ELMONT, N.Y. - In recent years, the Bold Ruler has served as an opportunity for aging sprinters who were slowing down to still earn stakes glory. This year's Grade 3 Bold Ruler could act as a launching pad for a pair of sprinters who aren't getting older, they're getting faster.

Neither Pisgah nor Tiger has won a stakes race. But they look like the two horses to beat in Saturday's $100,000 Bold Ruler at six furlongs over Belmont Park's main track. A field of five was entered for the Bold Ruler, including Grade 1 Carter winner Bishop Court Hill.

, 5, comes off a track-record performance at Delaware Park in which he ran six furlongs in 1:07.92 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 112. He has won 3 of his last 4 races for trainer Scott Lake, who said gelding Pisgah last spring made a huge difference for the son of Good and Tough.

"We had him up here as a 2-year-old and [Richard] Migliore broke his maiden when he walked out of the gate," Lake said. "Migliore said, 'If you teach him how to break, this horse can take you anywhere.' That's the kind of talent he had, but he's always been such a nut case."

Pisgah will break from post 2 under Robert Alvarado and appears to have enough speed to keep Bishop Court Hill, the 119-pound highweight, from getting the lead. Bishop Court Hill, 6, recorded a front-running upset in the Carter in April at Aqueduct.

"I've always thought he was one of the fastest horses we've ever had," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "Things need to go the right way for him to perform to his capability. The Carter, I thought, was one of the few times he got to the eighth pole and a horse came to him and he dug in and got it done."

The Bold Ruler will be the third straight race Bishop Court Hill runs without Lasix. Pletcher said that has a history of getting the thumps, an electrolyte imbalance, and racing without Lasix helps that kind of horse.

likely will stalk Pisgah and Bishop Court Hill from post 3. Plagued by tendon problems early in his career, Tiger has won 2 of 3 starts this year, including a 7 1/4-length allowance win at Aqueduct in which he earned a Beyer Figure of 111.

"He'll really get a class test on Saturday," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "I'm anxious to see how he is when someone's at his throatlatch every inch."

Papua and Dark Cheetah complete the field.