05/22/2002 11:00PM

Fearsome foursome make Mass Cap special

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EAST BOSTON, Mass. - While Memorial Day weekend is a big one for many racetracks, those at Suffolk Downs can be forgiven for looking a week ahead to the Massachusetts Handicap on June 1. The field for the $500,000 race will include four top-flight horses, making it one of the best runnings since Skip Away fought off Formal Gold, Will's Way, and Geri in 1997.

Defending champion Include will be back, according to his trainer, Buddy Delp. He is expected to face 2000 champion juvenile Macho Uno, Grade 1 stakes winner Mongoose, and Evening Attire, a winner of three graded stakes this winter at Aqueduct.

The weights for the Mass Cap will be released Saturday.

"We're looking forward to the race and plan on coming up there, provided we get treated fairly in the weights," said Delp. "With that kind of field, I think we'll be treated fairly. I think we have a horse that can win it, but it's a tough field. When you put up a purse like that you've got to go and earn it."

Include breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59.80 at Laurel Park Wednesday and will breeze a final time in Maryland before shipping to Boston midweek.

Mongoose will try to give trainer James Bond his second Mass Cap win. Bond won the race with Behrens in 1999.

This year's Donn Handicap winner, Mongoose has been waiting for this race since finishing second in the Gulfstream Park Handicap March 30. He worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:13.40 on May 20 over Saratoga's training track and will work a final time early next week before shipping on race day.

Macho Uno's lone race this year was an allowance victory March 23 at Gulfstream over eventual National Jockey Club Handicap and Hawthorne Gold Cup winner Hail the Chief. Trained by Joe Orseno, Macho Uno raced only four times last year at 3 because of various ailments.

Evening Attire will have local connections rooting him on, as owners Joseph and Mary Grant are from Quincy, Mass.

Trained by Pat Kelly, Evening Attire romped to a win over a sloppy track May 2 in an Aqueduct allowance. A fourth-place finish in the Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap kept Evening Attire from a sweep of Aqueduct's graded stakes for older middle-distance runners. His victory in the Discovery Handicap there last year came over eventual Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry.

Griffinite, who finished fifth in last year's Preakness Stakes, and Lyracist, who is campaigned by native New Englanders Michael and Nick Petro, are possible for the Mass Cap. Country Be Gold's connections are waiting to see the weight assignments before committing to the 1 1/8-mile race.

* The biggest race of Memorial Day weekend is Saturday's $30,000 Miss Indy Anna Stakes for fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs. Expected for the race are Divine Line, Folly Dollar, Shiloh Lane, and Buzzing B's. Shiloh Lane and Buzzing B's are coming off disappointing efforts in the My Fair Lady Stakes here May 11.