INGLEWOOD, Calif. &ndash; Week after week through June, Smiling Tiger recorded blisteringly quick workouts at Hollywood Park, leading toward Saturday&rsquo;s $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap over seven furlongs.\r\nA five-furlong workout in 58.60 seconds on June 9 was followed a week later by another work in 58.80, and, finally, a six-furlong workout in 1:11.40 on June 23. Always a fast worker, Smiling Tiger seems even quicker this summer.\r\n&ldquo;He&rsquo;s had time between races, and that&rsquo;s when he blasts off,&rdquo; trainer Jeff Bonde said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s doing really good right now. We think he&rsquo;s at his apex.&rdquo;\r\nOwned by Philip Lebherz and Alan Klein, Smiling Tiger has won six stakes in his career and will be after his third in a Grade 1 in the Triple Bend. As a 3-year-old last year, Smiling Tiger won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar and the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes here in October, both against older horses.\r\nOn May 7, Smiling Tiger finished a troubled sixth of 12 as the 5-2 favorite in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes over seven furlongs.\r\n&ldquo;It was like an L.A. freeway at traffic time,&rdquo; Bonde said of the troubled race. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll leave it to that. As long as he gets a chance to run, he comes up with a big race.&rdquo;\r\nSmiling Tiger is part of a strong field of eight in the Triple Bend, which includes the stakes winners Amazombie, Bench Points, Camp Victory, M One Rifle, and Uh Oh Bango and the allowance race winners Color of Courage and El Martillo.\r\nLiberian Freighter also is a six-time stakes winner, and the veteran 6-year-old gelding will be after his first win in a Grade 1 in Saturday&rsquo;s $300,000 Shoemaker Mile on turf.\r\nTrained by Neil Drysdale, Liberian Freighter won two graded stakes in April &ndash; the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita on April 9 and the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park on April 24, leading throughout both races.\r\nIn the Grade 2 American Handicap on May 28, Liberian Freighter was within a length of pacesetter Sidney&rsquo;s Candy for the first six furlongs of the mile race and faded to finish fifth of six. Ryehill Dreamer finished a nose in front of Sidney&rsquo;s Candy in that race.\r\n&ldquo;He got tangled up in a speed duel with Sidney&rsquo;s Candy, and it cost both of them,&rdquo; Drysdale said.\r\nFor the Shoemaker, Liberian Freighter, who will be ridden by Martin Garcia, may not face pressure for the lead. The other six entrants &ndash; Ashtar, Blue Chagall, Caracortado, Courageous Cat, Smokey Lonesome, and Victor&rsquo;s Cry &ndash; do not have a committed front-runner among them.\r\nDrysdale said that Liberian Freighter can lead or stalk. Last fall, Liberian Freighter won the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile after stalking the pace in third-place for most of the race.\r\n&ldquo;As he&rsquo;s getting older, he&rsquo;s getting more adaptable,&rdquo; Drysdale said.\r\nThe Shoemaker is part of the Breeders&rsquo; Cup challenge program, offering a fees-paid berth to the BC Mile at Churchill Downs in November to the winner. Courageous Cat has Breeders&rsquo; Cup experience, having finished second to the mighty Goldikova in the 2009 BC Mile at Santa Anita.