05/08/2003 12:00AM

Shake You Down aims upward


ELMONT, N.Y. - Is Shake You Down a wet-track freak or is he really developing into one of the top sprinters in the country?

That question may be answered Saturday when Shake You Down shoots for his first graded stakes victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park. The Bold Ruler, which drew a seven-horse field, shares billing with the Grade 2, $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies.

Also Saturday, Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide will make an appearance in the paddock.

Scott Lake felt he was getting a useful horse when he claimed Shake You Down for $65,000 from trainer Ben Feliciano Jr. in March at Aqueduct. Shake You Down romped to victory in two subsequent starts, running six furlongs in 1:08.34 on April 11 and coming back two weeks later and covering the same distance in 1:07.77. Both races were run over sloppy tracks. There is a threat of rain Saturday.

"I think the wet track moved him up, but 90 percent is him - he's an awful nice horse," said Lake, who has sold Shake You Down to Robert Cole Jr. since the last race. "The only reservation about running him there is running back in two weeks."

Pablo Fragoso, a seven-pound apprentice, rode the horse in his two most recent starts, but Lake will replace him with Mike Luzzi for the Bold Ruler. In stakes, apprentice weight allowances are waived.

Shake You Down, a 5-year-old son of Montbrook, has shown the ability to win from on or off the pace. Here's Zealous, who won the 2001 Gravesend Handicap, is the only other horse that seems capable of running with Shake You Down early.

Here's Zealous was sidelined most of last year due to foot problems, according to his trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr. He has run well in two starts this year, including a neck loss to Say Florida Sandy in a swiftly run six-furlong race at Aqueduct on April 3.

Well Fancied, Dutrow's other starter, finished a length behind Here's Zealous in that April 3 race. Well Fancied won a pair of New York-bred stakes in his last two starts at Belmont last fall.

Say Florida Sandy, the richest New York-bred earner in history, was entered, but would not run if the track came up wet.

Peeping Tom, who finished fourth in last Saturday's Churchill Downs Handicap, was entered right back in the Bold Ruler. Trainer Pat Reynolds said traffic trouble prevented Peeping Tom from running hard for more than one furlong in that race, which is why he feels he can wheel him back in a week.