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Pisgah Trying to Step It Up


Pisgah, who has begun 2006 by winning half of his six starts, will try to become a graded stakes winner in the $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap today at Belmont Park.

Owned by breeder Tavner Dunlap and trained by Scott Lake, the 5-year-old Good and Tough horse enters the Grade III off consecutive victories. He won a turf sprint at Gulfstream Park despite a stumbling start, then was dominant in an optional claimer on the dirt at Delaware Park on April 25.

Pisgah will be making his first start at Belmont in the six-furlong contest that drew only four other entrants.

Meanwhile, the main event at Churchill Downs is the $100,000 Open Mind, a five-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Serena's Cat, who has won all three of her races on the grass, is the one to beat for Dell Ridge Farm and trainer Bill Mott.

Race of the day: Trainer Bob Baffert didn't get close with three runners in the Kentucky Derby a week ago, but maybe he can win the $300,000 Lone Star Derby today with Wanna Runner. Victor Espinoza will be in Grand Prairie, Texas, to ride the 3-year-old El Corredor gelding for owner Mike Pegram in the Grade III at 1 1/16 miles.

One for the road: Tough Shipmate makes his first start since last July 1 and wins if he runs anywhere close to his debut in the sixth race, a 5 1/2 -furlong event for New York-bred maidens, today at Belmont.

Exotically speaking: A pick three using Pao Com Ovo and Thunderfrog in the fourth, Global Heat in the fifth and Grey Swallow and One Off in the sixth.

Winners (through Thursday): (previous day/meet total): 1/27. Money: (previous day/meet total): $7.80/$180.60. Total money bet: $210.

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