07/03/2003 12:00AM

With invaders gone, Topsider is local prize


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - Just two weeks after running on James Moseley Handicap Day two weeks ago, several horses are eager to get back to work in Saturday's $35,000 Topsider Stakes.

Dhaffir, Goodbar, and Run Kush Run all raced against the tough out-of-town competition on Suffolk's biggest day, and all should be glad to be back against local rivals in the six-furlong Topsider.

Dhaffir finished seventh in the Moseley, nearly 13 lengths behind winner Peeping Tom, who was scheduled to return Friday in the Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont. The loss was Dhaffir's worst performance since the winter, and owners Henry and Donald Barry and trainer Pamela Angevine hope it will be the lone black mark on the 7-year-old gelding's season.

"He didn't get too good a trip in the Moseley," said Angevine. "He's doing amazingly well considering he had a bad break, got checked, and was yanked to the middle of the racetrack. I wasn't going to run in here if he was tired, because we want to get back to Saratoga with him. We've got that in mind, plus there's the fall stakes schedule here."

Run Kush Run skipped the Moseley for the undercard's Brodkin Memorial, trying the turf - to no avail - for only the second time in his 33-race career. He ran into the powerful Abderian in that five-furlong dash and finished sixth after early traffic trouble. Run Kush Run has since picked up fifth-place purse money, after Abderian was disqualified for a positive drug test this week.

The Topsider will be a rematch for Dhaffir and Run Kush Run. They finished one-two in the William Almy Jr. Stakes on May 10, when Run Kush Run dueled with 2002 Topsider champ First Shot early, and Dhaffir pounced. With First Shot also back in the Topsider, a similar situation could unfold.

Like Dhaffir, Goodbar last ran in the Moseley, where he finished fifth in a daunting first race off a 10-week layoff. Goodbar, an 8-year-old gelding, won the 2001 Topsider en route to that year's regional sprint championship. He last won in March. Goodbar has just seven starts and four in-the-money finishes in the past 19 months.

Russian Momma returns to Boston, where he's 2 for 3, and is coming off a win in a Finger Lakes allowance. He also won at Gulfstream this past winter.

Apprentice, 34, rides first winner

It's hard to call him a bug boy, but 34-year-old apprentice Jose Torres realized a dream Monday when he rode his first career winner, aboard Witty Bill in the third race.

"I had some issues in my life that made me put this on hold," said Torres, a Puerto Rico native. "This is the thing I always wanted. It's incredible."