09/19/2007 11:00PM

Godolphin entry tops Moseley Sprint

EmailEAST BOSTON, Mass. – Suffolk Downs goes from blue-collar to royal blue as Sheik Mohammed's Godolphin Racing sends a powerful two-horse entry of Council Member and Afrashad in the $100,000 James B. Moseley Sprint Handicap - the other race making a comeback on Mass Cap Day.

Like the main event, the Moseley has been shelved since 2004 through a rough patch of business at the track. It is named for the man who brought racing back to Suffolk in 1992, after the track was closed for two years, and it fittingly returns alongside the revived Mass Cap as part of the push by first-year track owner Richard Fields to revitalize the 72-year-old facility.

There isn't a graded stakes winner in the six-furlong Moseley, but the two Godolphin horses look the classiest.

"We hate to put two horses on a five-hour van ride to run against each other, but they're both ready to run and that looks like what we have to do," said Rick Mettee, the New York-based assistant to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Afrashad returns to dirt after a dull try in the Troy Stakes on turf at Saratoga. He won the Fall Highweight at Aqueduct last November.

Council Member, a son of Seattle Slew, has won two optional claiming races since coming to the U.S. from England. Between the wins he ran fourth in the True North at Belmont.

"They both look like day-in, day-out Grade 3 horses capable of running big races in the right situation," said Mettee. "Council Member ran a huge race last time out, but we need to see if he freaked over that track or if he's improving. Afrashad ran some very big races last year, and he didn't take to the turf. We're trying to see where he fits."

Richard Migliore was named to ride both halves of the even-money entry. Mattee said they were working on finding a second jockey.

Gold and Roses, a New York-bred stakes runner who won the John Morrissey Handicap at Saratoga last month, is the second choice.

The red-hot West Point Thoroughbreds – with New England native Rick Violette training – will be represented by Moon's Halo.

* On the undercard, local runners get a chance for some stakes money in the $45,000 Collegian for 3-year-old sprinters and the $45,000, two-turn Waquoit for older horses.