09/25/2001 11:00PM

Include looks to follow the Bid


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When Meadowlands officials moved their biggest race two weeks earlier in the meet, they were hoping to attract Breeders' Cup Classic contenders. That's exactly what they will get Friday night when Include and Broken Vow join four other horses in the $500,000, Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup.

Include, making his first start since finishing third in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park behind Albert the Great and Lido Palace, drew post four in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. He will resume a 2001 campaign that already includes a Grade 1 win in the Pimlico Special and two Grade 2 wins until it was cut short by an injury.

He is also looking to follow in the footsteps of Spectacular Bid, who was campaigned by the same connections: owner Robert Meyerhoff and trainer Buddy Delp. Spectacular Bid won the Meadowlands Cup in 1979.

"Back when the Bid was here, the race was 1 1/4 miles," Delp said after Include drew post four under Jerry Bailey. "He set a track record that night. Now that the distance is 1 1/8 miles, it sets up perfectly for Include because it sets him up perfectly for the Breeders' Cup. He's training well, but he has been off since July and you always have to wonder whether you've trained him to the minute."

According to Graham Motion, the trainer of Iselin Handicap winner Broken Vow, the distance will also suit his horse as he seeks his third straight stakes victory.

"This distance is right up his alley," said Motion. "He's training super and really seems to like the cooler weather. He worked in 11 and change at Delaware the other day, and he really seems to have learned to relax in his races."

Questions about Include's fitness and excellent performances by Broken Vow in his last two races have relegated Include to second choice at 7-5 behind Broken Vow on Daily Racing Form's line.

The race got some spice with the late entry of Sumitas by trainer Bobby Frankel. "Sumitas had just one race on the dirt, but he looks like he handles it well, and when I saw the field coming up short, I figured we'd take a chance," said Frankel. Sumitas won the Ceasar Rodney at Delaware when it was rained off the turf.

The Cup will be the eighth of 12 races on the card and will go off at 10:17 p.m. Eastern.