09/12/2007 11:00PM

Roaring Lion geting the mile he loves

EmailRoaring Lion, who closed out his 2-year-old campaign with his third straight win in the Maryland Juvenile Championship but has not come close in three subsequent starts at 3, will see if a return to his favorite distance can end his slump in Saturday's $50,000 Deputed Testamony Stakes at Laurel Park.

The race, restricted to Maryland-bred 3-year-olds, will be contested over a one-turn mile, the precise distance at which Roaring Lion flourished when he put together his three-race winning streak between Nov. 29 and Dec. 30.

After two noncompetitive performances in the one-mile Miracle Wood at Laurel and a six-furlong optional claimer at Monmouth Park, Roaring Lion at least showed some signs of life last month in his turf debut. He flashed speed but was used up in a pace duel while making in the Humphrey S. Finney at 1 1/8 miles.

The best last-race Beyer Speed Figure, a 101, belongs to Digger, who exceeded his previous career high by 17 points when he was dropped into a claiming sprint at Saratoga a month ago.

Whether Digger can repeat his big figure going longer in a stakes is questionable. Digger's most recent good race in a route, going 1 1/8 miles at Charles Town, produced a Beyer Figure of 84, a number nearly matched by Tiger Rag (81 Beyer) when he romped at the same distance and class level in West Virginia.

I'vegottabeme merits consideration as he stretches out beyond six furlongs for the first time following back-to-back wins at Delaware Park.