05/29/2002 11:00PM

Dream Run shortens up


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - It's not as flashy as the Massachusetts Handicap, but the $150,000 James B. Moseley Breeders' Cup Handicap is on its way to at least replacing the once-prestigious Suffolk Sprint as a sprint stakes that attracts runners from other tracks around the East Coast and Midwest.

Six runners will run in the six-furlong race named for the late Suffolk Downs chairman, who is credited with bringing racing back to Boston after Suffolk was closed in 1989.

Dream Run is making the trip from Kentucky to take on Esteemed Friend and others in the Moseley, indicating that the reputation of this race is on the rise for trainers seeking rich sprinting opportunities.

Dream Run, owned by John D. Murphy of Quincy, Mass., has performed well at longer distances, including solid efforts in the 3-year-old Derby prep races last year in Florida. His consistency has allowed trainer Paul McGee to try him against sprinting competition even though he may be best at seven furlongs or a mile.

"I wouldn't label him a sprinter," said McGee. "He's beaten some quality horses and has been so consistent. He's only really had one clunker in his career. If we had our druthers, we'd probably wish this was at seven furlongs, but there's not a lot of $150,000 opportunities at distances like this."

Waiting for Dream Run in Boston is Esteemed Friend. The veteran was claimed from a $35,000 Aqueduct race by owner Anthony Pyliotis last January, and has since followed with three straight victories.

"He's just doing so well up here," said Pyliotis. "I know many think they can come here and take the money from the Mass Cap, but if they think they can get in front of my horse in this sprint, they should just stay home instead."

Trainer Joe Orseno will start Macho Uno in the Mass Cap, but he has also brought along Southland Blues for the Moseley.

"This race just fits into his schedule nicely," said Orseno. "He won his allowance off the layoff in Florida, then he got to the inside over a wet track in his last race at Belmont and just took off. He really wasn't grabbing that track well, but he still won. I feel so good about how he's going right now that even if I wasn't sending Macho Uno up there, I'd have sent him there for this race anyway."

Storming Oedy, who is trained by former New Englander Mike Petro, will look for his second straight victory after winning the Damitrius Stakes at Delaware last time. Valiant Halory won his last race over the Suffolk strip for trainer Nick Zito, and Captain Red, a stablemate of Esteemed Friend, rounds out the field.

* Slippery Gator, the latest offspring of Lady Gator to show talent for owner Francis McDonnell and trainer George Handy, will take on older foes in the $30,000 Old Ironsides Stakes at a mile and 70 yards on the turf course.

* The $30,000 Keith Brodkin Memorial Handicap at five furlongs on the turf has attracted a full field, including the streaking Method Man.

Starting with the Old Ironsides, Suffolk will offer an all-stakes pick four that concludes with the Mass Cap.