07/09/2001 11:00PM

Layoff, who needs a layoff?


Rudirudy came within a half-length of winning two stakes races within a span of 48 hours Tuesday afternoon at Delaware Park.

Racing on one day's rest after capturing the $50,000 John McSorley Stakes on Sunday at Monmouth Park, the 6-year-old Rudirudy looked like a winner when he drew clear by a length with a furlong remaining in Tuesday's $55,000 Mo Bay Handicap, a five-furlong sprint on the turf. But inside the sixteenth pole, Grangeville, who had relinquished the lead briefly after a duel, found a second burst of energy and spoiled Rudirudy's bid for a remarkable stakes double.

Rudirudy held off third-place finisher Just Call Me Carl by a neck.

Grangeville ($5), a 6-year-old trained by Jonathan Sheppard and ridden by Anthony Black, was timed in 57.08 seconds over a course labeled good.

Trainer Gaston Sandoval said he decided to run Rudirudy after his short sprint specialist cruised to a 3 1/2-length victory in the McSorley, a race shifted from turf to a sloppy main track after heavy rain.

"The last four races I've entered him have been rained off the turf," Sandoval said. "I really wanted to run him on turf, and I made up my mind that if he won easily on Sunday, I would run him right back."

Rudirudy is no stranger to running on short rest. On May 26, he finished third in the C.E. O'Brien at Pimlico. A week later, he came back to win the Wolf Hill at Monmouth.

* Track management canceled the eighth race after four late scratches reduced the field to three horses.