09/21/2007 12:00AM

Tagg loves Big Truck today and beyond

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Big Truck wins his maiden impressively at Saratoga. He'll look to go 2 for 2 on Sunday.
ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Barclay Tagg has unleashed some talented 2-year-olds this year, including Grade 2 Futurity winner Tale of Ekati and the sharp debut winner Rollers. Long-term, however, Tagg believes Big Truck could be the best of the bunch.

"His numbers are a little slower than the other two nice 2-year-olds I have, but I think he might end up being the best one," Tagg said Friday. "This guy's smooth as glass."

Big Truck will be heavily favored to make it 2 for 2 Sunday when he meets four fellow New York-breds in the $100,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park. The Bongard, run at seven furlongs, shares billing with the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies on Belmont's 10-race card.

Big Truck, a son of Hook and Ladder, won his debut by 6 1/2 lengths at Saratoga on Aug. 23. He broke a tad slowly, then gradually moved up along the inside, taking the lead after a quarter-mile run in 22.26 seconds before gradually widening his advantage. He was geared down the final sixteenth by Ramon Dominguez, and still ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.65.

"I thought he'd win easy, I really did," Tagg said. "I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, but he does things too effortlessly. He'll do anything."

Big Truck had an inside post in his debut, but will break from the advantageous outside post in this field. Dominguez, who is 2 for 2 at this meet, is back aboard. Tagg won this race in 2002 with Funny Cide.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out the uncoupled entry of Spanky Fischbein and Fort Drum against Big Truck. Spanky Fischbein won his debut by 3 1/4 lengths here in June before finishing second behind Lantana Mob in the Tyro and second behind Law Enforcement in the Aspirant at Finger Lakes.

Pletcher will add blinkers to Spanky Fischbein's equipment for this. "It seemed like he was a little distracted at Finger Lakes," Pletcher said. "He dropped back a bit on the turn, came back on again. He ran a bit spotty so we're going to try to smooth that out a little bit if we can."

Fort Drum, a son of Wiseman's Ferry, won his debut on June 1 then finished sixth, 17 lengths behind stablemate Ready's Image in the Tremont after he stumbled at the break.

Dazzling Derek and Wishful Tomcat complete the field. Wishful Tomcat was entered in a maiden race on Saturday.