11/21/2008 1:00AM

Ready Set out to add to bankroll

Email

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Discovery Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct is a late-season opportunity for 3-year-olds to score a graded stakes victory within their own division before turning 4, less than six weeks from now.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Discovery, a 1 1/8-mile race, attracted a field of eight with varying levels of stakes experience.

At one end stands Ready Set, the leading earner in the field this year with $573,140. Trained by Michael Matz for Lael Stable - the Barbaro team - Ready Set earned big chunk of that in a narrow win in the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby.

Ready Set just missed last time out, finishing a nose behind Atoned in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at the Meadowlands.

Jose Lezcano, leading rider at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands this year, has the mount.

At the other end of the spectrum are Premium Gold and Lieutenant Ron, a pair of talented colts seeking their first stakes win.

Premium Gold looked ready to make that leap following a strong pacesetting allowance win at Saratoga. Owner-trainer John Kimmel sent Premium Gold to the Pegasus where he flattened out to finish fifth.

"He's what you'd expect from a Mineshaft, a big colt who will improve over time," Kimmel said. "I think he'll be a better 4-year-old than he was at 3, and I think he's right at the cusp of showing me that. He went a little too fast too early in the Pegasus. He didn't get a chance to let his energy out in a nice, progressive fashion."

Richard Migliore, who picks up the mount, has been working the colt in the mornings.

"Mig kind of knows him well now," Kimmel said. "I'm expecting a good performance."

Lieutenant Ron, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, is 3 for 4 in his brief career. He makes his stakes debut from the outside post with Alan Garcia aboard.

"Post 8 is not ideal, but he has speed," McLaughlin said. "He should be able to get over to the lead from the outside."

The field also includes Big Truck, winless in five races since capturing the Tampa Bay Derby; Coach Shaw, who has two wins and a second in the last three, all in New Jersey for trainer Mark Hennig; Web Gem, second to Ready Set in the West Virginia Derby; Wishful Tomcat, winner of a pair of overnight stakes on the turf at Belmont Park; and That'srightofficer, second against older New York-breds in the Empire Classic.