04/10/2006 11:00PM

Tiger ideally drawn outside


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Tiger, who has run big in his two starts this year, both for Jimmy Jerkens, breaks from the outside post in Thursday's eighth race at Aqueduct, a second-level allowance at six furlongs. Among Tiger's rivals is War Plan, the third-place finisher in the 2005 Withers Stakes, who is trained by Jimmy Jerkens's father, Allen.

ran twice for Jimmy Jerkens in 2004, twice for Michael Dickinson last year, and twice more when given back over to Jerkens this year for his first two starts at age 5. He drew the outside post in the field of six, which allows rider Eibar Coa some options depending on how alertly Tiger breaks, and whether the likes of Mr. Shea, Introspect, and War Plan are hustled along early.

set a slow pace in the Withers, and with maturity he has developed into more of a come-from-behind type, whether racing on dirt or turf. He was unable to keep pace with Tiger when last on dirt three starts back at Gulfstream.

showed speed winning 2 of 4 starts on the inner track. He improved sharply to win a first-level allowance last time out, and has trained well since then.

Introspect is winless since 2004, but he is the field's leading money earner, runs regularly, and usually runs well.

"As Mike Hushion told me, he judges his horses by how they run against Introspect," said Bill Turner Jr., trainer of Introspect. "He never misses a dance, but someone has always been a step better than he was."

Introspect, who breezed a bullet half-mile last Saturday, has had the lead at the pace call in four of nine starts since beginning his current form cycle last fall.

"When he works like that, he runs to it," said Turner. "We let him run his race, more or less. We don't particularly like to make the pace. If someone else goes for the lead, we're glad to let them do it."

Whichever horse has the lead turning for home will have to hold off Callmetony, whose first and only start on the Aqueduct main track last fall was a good-figure win in a starter handicap for Bruce Levine.

"I couldn't wait to get him back on the main track," said Levine. "He doesn't have tactical speed, he kind of falls back. I'd rather run him anywhere but the inner dirt track."